Grand Fire develops strategic plan as guide to the future | SkyHiNews.com
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Grand Fire develops strategic plan as guide to the future

Ronald D. Thompson
Guest Opinion

To the Editor:

I would like to take this opportunity to tell you about an exciting project we have been working on here at Grand Fire Protection District over the last 16 months.

I was hired by the Grand Fire Protection District in January 2014 to be the Fire Chief and District Administrator. After getting settled into the job and getting to know the great group of volunteer firefighters, I began looking at the potential for even greater success for the department. With that in mind, I decided to begin the development of a multi-year strategic plan which would effectively define who we are as an organization, what we wanted to do in the coming years and how we could accomplish the important goals we agreed upon.

In April 2014 we hosted a meeting which included community members, volunteer firefighters, District Staff and the Fire Board of Directors. This first meeting produced ideas that led to the development of an Action Plan and laid the foundation for the Strategic Plan.

The Strategic Plan allowed District Staff and the Fire Board to determine clear mission, vision and values statements which helped guide them through the analysis and to develop an accurate picture of what our organization is today and how we want it to look like in the future. The Plan’s development required a great deal of research, thought, consideration, and analysis. Models of Strategic Plans from other fire organizations throughout the country were reviewed in addition to using a guide developed by the Commission on Fire Accreditation International, CFAI Fire & Emergency Self-Assessment Manual.

These helped the staff develop a Plan that is unique to our community and District, and yet is consistent with nationally accepted good practices. The Plan is not a document that will go unchanged but instead will be a living, ever-changing document. As the District improves and reaches the goals originally set in the plan, new goals and benchmarks will be developed to keep the momentum of improvement.

Issues addressed in the Strategic Plan include budgeting, staffing, training, community involvement, volunteer recruitment and retention among many others which were taken into consideration for development and improvement. These issues are consistent with most organizations operating within the volunteer staffing model. We work hard to maintain a well-trained, well equipped and highly motivated membership to effectively serve the needs of our District and community. To that end this Strategic Plan will assist the District’s staff with meeting the needs of the District. The Strategic Plan and additional information about Grand Fire can been accessed on our website http://www.grandfire.org. Feel free to call or email our business office at 970.887.3380 or grandfire@grandfire.org. We are always accepting applications for new volunteers.

Chief Thompson is a third-generation Fire Chief from Missouri who assumed leadership of Grand Fire in January 2014. In addition to his Fire Chief duties, Chief Thompson also serves as the Administrator and Chief Executive Officer, responsible for administering the affairs and overall operation of Grand Fire Protection District No. 1. During his career he served as Fire Chief in Pagosa Springs; Deputy Chief in Independence, Mo.; Fire/EMS Bureau Commander in Gladstone, Mo., and most recently was employed as Deputy Chief of the Inspection Unit for the Missouri Division of Fire Safety. Chief Thompson holds a bachelor’s degree in fire science from Columbia Southern University and an associate’s degree in fire science and technology from Penn Valley Community College. He holds Fire Officer 2, Fire Instructor 2, Fire Investigator, and Fire Inspector 1 IFSAC Certifications. He has three grown children and lives in Granby with his wife.


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