Fire chief: Time to evolve is now


Anaheim Fire Chief Randy Bruegman believes that now is the time to innovate, embrace change and begin to reengineer emergency services that are focused on the changing demands of the fire service, and the needs of the customers the department serves every day.

He recently shared his thoughts in an article titled “Fire Services at a Crossroads,” published in the July edition of PM Magazine, a publication of the International City/County Management Association.

He notes that most firefighters are better trained and educated than their predecessors. But putting out fires is no longer the only priority. Firefighters today are trained in advanced life support, hazmat response, urban search and rescue and homeland security, raising the cost for local governments.

“The fire service today responds to millions of calls a year and most are for EMS (Emergency Medical Service),” he writes. “Therein lies the threat and the opportunity for the fire service in the immediate future. The current system has been built on a system of defined staffing and deployment that works well for structural fire response, but may not be the most effective nor efficient model for the majority of calls that are being responded to today.”

Click here to read the full story in PM Magazine.