INTEGRATING THE FIRE SERVICE INTO THE DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE ENTERPRISE: A SYSTEMS THINKING APPROACH
Falkner, Kyle L.
Gallup, Shelley P.
Simeral, Robert L.
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In the nearly two decades since the attacks on September 11, 2001, there have been numerous attempts to improve fire service integration at virtually all levels of government. While none have succeeded in solving this wicked problem on their own, each has done a great deal to frame the problem of fire service integration while addressing key areas of integration. In merging these individual contributions into a holistic, unified effort, a pathway forward has begun to emerge. The first step in addressing the complex problem of fire service integration is to break from the traditional reductionist problem-solving methodologies commonly found in government in favor of systems thinking to bring about the desired change. Systems thinking provides a framework for understanding the complex interactions that are both internal and external to an organization. Within the systems thinking field, the congruence model best addresses the unique, complex nature of integration efforts. Beyond the central aim of integrating the fire service into the domestic intelligence enterprise, the congruence model and, more broadly, systems thinking show promise in guiding organizations that face changes or seek new and unique ways to tackle today’s and tomorrow’s wicked problems.
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