Strategic changes for the fire service in the post - 9/11 era
Weeks, Douglas M.
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The fire service mission has changed since September 11, 2001, and the threat of terrorism is placing new demands on fire service leaders. Expectations of the community and a duty to maximize safety for fire service employees have created complex problems that will require unique and non-traditional solutions. The challenge for fire service leadership is how to best manage the contemporary threat of terrorism while maintaining its growing list of traditional mission-oriented requirements. This challenge is especially difficult given the low frequency but high risk and impact of terrorist incidents. As the nation moves farther away from 9/11, the easier it is to become complacent. Yet all accounts suggest that the threat is growing and another attack is inevitable. This thesis will outline and provide recommendations in four key areas the fire service must address if it is to be successful in meeting its current mission: intelligence, community engagement, response, and leadership. Although fire service agencies vary across the nation, the recommendations included herein are intended to be universal. Furthermore, this thesis seeks a viable balance between threat, impact, and sustainability.
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