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FIRE STATION ADMINISTRATION

CONTENTS Training Session

MANAGEMENT IN THE FIRE SERVICE


Introduction Definition of management Functions of management Management and supervision Acceptance of management principles Communications and motivation Morale Management by objectives (mbo) Productivity management Revision Notes Learning Outcome 1 Describe the fundamentals of management in Fire Service. Assessment Criteria: 1.1. 1.2. 1.3. 1.4. 1.5. 1.6. 1.7. 1.8. 1.9. Define Management. State the five functions of management. Differentiate between management and supervision. Decide the acceptance of management principles. Recognize the need for communication and motivation. Define Morale. Describe the theories on motivation and potential for self-direction. Understand the technique on Management by Objectives (MbO).

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Give an examples of Department Mission Statements and Station Strategic Goals. Management in the Fire Service NFPA Prepared by Didactic Systems, Inc. Further reading recommended: Management Edwin B Flippo and Gary M Munsinger University of Arizona

REFERENCES a. b.

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MANAGEMENT IN THE FIRE SERVICE


INTRODUCTION 1. In the Fire Service the management of fire stations is under the responsibility of the Fire Officers. Management has many unique problems some of which are as follows: a. It requires a distinct team spirit.

b. It requires a strong disciplinary influence owing to the need for concerted and instant reaction on the fire-ground. c. d. e. f. It requires a high quality of leadership. It has a continuing training demand. It requires an extremely wide range of technical competence. It has a labour-employer relationship not like in the other occupations.

g. It requires an ability to deal with the public under both minor and major crisis situations. 2. Management is fundamentally the art of assembling resources and converting them into a system which can accomplish designated and developing objectives. 3. The objective of this lesson is to instruct trainees on the fundamentals of management in the Fire Service so that they can assist their Fire Officers to discharge their duties when they become a Fire Controller or a Fire Supervisor at workplace. DEFINITION OF MANAGEMENT 4. Management is defined as the guiding of human and physical resources into dynamic organization units which attain their objective to the satisfaction of those served and with a high degree of morale and sense of attainment on the part of those rendering the service. FUNCTIONS OF MANAGEMENT 5. The functions of management can be divided into 5 primary elements: a. b. c. d. e. Planning. Organizing. Directing. Co-ordinating. Controlling. (1) Planning - Planning sets the aim and charts the course. Planning can be divided into 3 time ranges: Long Range Planning, Medium Range Planning Operation and Short Range Planning (technical planning). (a) In planning, the fire officer should examine: i. ii. iii. the level of protection required at that Airport; the protection of airport buildings and special hazards; manpower requirements; FCS - M1 LO1 2

iv. v.

type, special features and quantity of vehicles required; fire station, sitting and design;

vi. special environmental problems surrounding the airport, such as impassable terrain. (b) An effective approach to good planning is to use the following problem solving steps: i. ii. iii. iv. v. vi. (2) Organizing (a) After planning the next step in a senior officers work is organizing the putting together of all the pieces necessary to carry out the plan. (b) For the Senior Officer, the following need to be organized: i. ii. iii. iv. acquisition of fire-fighting vehicles and equipment; training programmer for staff; airport emergency plan; maintenance of fire equipment. set the objective; recognize the associated problem; analyze the problem; determine a number of solutions to the problem; select the best solution (the best plan); take action to achieve the objective.

(3) Directing. This principle of unity of command one person in charge is absolutely essential during emergencies. Commanding is a term synonymous with leadership. (4) Coordinating. Co-ordinating is the force that pulls together all the people and their work into a common objective. Without co-ordination, the chief can neither plan, organize, direct not control the resources committed to the objective. (5) Controlling. Control is a verifying process in which weaknesses and error are found and rectified, thus preventing them from recurring. It is making certain that orders are carried out and the job actually gets done. MANAGEMENT AND SUPERVISION 6. Frequently the words management and supervision are used synonymously and supervisors are sometimes referred to as managers while managers are referred to as supervisors. There is however, a significant distinction: it is possible to manage an activity without supervising anyone. 7. Supervision refers to directing the activities of other people, which management does not necessarily require. On the other hand, anyone who supervises the work of other people automatically is a manager because supervision of others requires specific planning, setting of goals, and the organization, direction, and evaluations that are so essential to the management task.

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8. Generally, the title manager is reserved for higher -level management, while the title supervisor is used to refer to those managers who directly supervise the line personnel doing the work. It would appear to be more appropriate to speak of first line supervision, middle-level supervision, and top-level supervision. ACCEPTANCE OF MANAGEMENT PRINCIPLES 9. In the Fire Service it is commonly believed that the application of good management principles must start from the top. The belief is prevalent because junior officers frequently feel that, at their levels, it is virtually impossible to practice leadership styles that are not in keeping with those of their superiors. 10. However, this is not always so, as can be seen from the fact that some fire officers are more competent that others. Clearly, the more competent officers are either better leaders or better managers, or both. Either intuitively, or because they have acquired greater knowledge about good management techniques and approaches, they achieve better performance from their units. 11. A similar common belief that some fire-fighters have about management, is that the upper levels of management are not receptive to their ideas and suggestions. Here, too, there is some truth to the belief that little can be achieved except if, or when, the officers are in a receptive mood. However, if that were all that is involved, how might it be explained that some people exert a greater influence than others upon those to whom they report? 12. Many people believe that good management is merely common sense, steadily applied. Yet nothing could be further from the truth. Decisions that seem obvious and simple from the fire fighters point of view often are far more difficult, and carry more risks and potential problems for the future, when seen from the wider perspective of the junior officer of the chief. 13. For these reasons, the study of management theory can be of great value to the more experienced members of the fire service who have never had extensive formal education in management, as well as those members who are either now in such positions or who aspire to them. COMMUNICATIONS AND MOTIVATION 14. Two other areas that apply to all aspects of management are: a. b. Communications. Motivation.

15. It is generally accepted that better communications skills can substantially improve operations by helping to avoid errors and ensuring better cooperation and relationships between people. 16. A managers ability to create a work environment that helps create a motivated team, and the ability to inspire personnel to extend their best efforts through motivation must also be emphasized. COMMUNICATIONS 17. Communications can be said to be transferring of ideas, instructions, advice and facts from one person to another person or group of people. It has been described as a lubricant which facilitates the working of all other elements of management. FCS - M1 LO1 4

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There are two reasons why emphasis has been laid on communications: a. to induce the desired action.

b. it has been realized that communications is not an inborne thing but has to be learned. MOTIVATION 19. A large part of the managers task is getting things done through people, he must therefore try and understand peoples motivation. 20. This aspect of management element of direction is concerned with inducing people to work to the best of their ability is know as MOTIVATION. (PERFORMANCE = MOTIVATION + ABILITY + ROLE PERCEPTIONS) 21. Motivation is not the only influence on an individuals performance. The two other factors: a. b. 22. Individual Abilities Role Perceptions.

What is Role Perceptions? a. It is the individual understands of what is necessary in order to achieve high performance.

23.

Signs of a Motivated (Positive) Work Force. a. b. The desire to join the organization. The desire to stay with the organization. (1) (2) c. Low Absenteeism. Low Labour Turnover.

The desire to perform (1) (2) Meeting Quantity Standards. Meeting Quality Standards or exceeding them.

d.

Spontaneous and Innovative Behaviour (1) (2) Willingness to help employees in times of difficulties. Engaging in actions protective of the organization.

(3) Creating suggestions for the organisations improvement e.g. through suggestion schemes. MORALE 24. This is the collective attitude of employees towards their work, their employer, the management and the conditions under which they work.

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a.

Detecting Low Morale (1) Interviewing all employees leaving the organisation (Exit Interview by a tactful impartial person). (2) (3) Talking to existing employees on the job. Setting up a Grievance committee.

(4) By using an attitude survey or questionnaire in which employees answer questions about their job, their employer and the management (should be done anonymously). b. Ways of Improving Morale (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) Good rates of pay and fair conditions of work. Merit rating and fair methods of promotion. Provision of good welfare benefits or housing schemes. Institution of suggestion schemes. Provision of training facilities.

(6) House Journals in-house journal is a form of public relations and of communications. The main objective in promoting house journals is to interpret company policies to employees; to encourage a better under standing of management problems; counter rumours and promote team spirit. THEORIES ON MOTIVATION AND POTENTIAL FOR SELF-DIRECTION 25. a number of theories presented during the period following World War II cast new light on the nature of the worker by suggesting that the individuals motivation and potential for self direction and growth might be far higher than traditionally assumed. 26. The work of Prof Abraham Maslow proved that people have basic needs for survival and security, but also express other social and personal needs of a much higher level. 27. He propounded his theory known as the Hierarchy of Needs and identified 5 level s of human needs: a. b. c. d. e. Basic Physiological Needs Safety and Security. Belonging and Social Activity. Esteem and Status. Self-realization and Fulfillment.

MANAGEMENT BY OBJECTIVES (Mb0) 28. Mb0 is a technique based on real planning and thought and is, most agree the best theoretical management program ever conceived. 29 can serve as a basis for the planning steps necessary to achieve a specific target. FCS - M1 LO1 6

30. Once specific objectives have been established, consideration should be given to the possibility of developing a more functional operating system than the current one. This requires that: a. b. c. d. The specific steps necessary to achieve results must, be achieved. The problem areas determined. Details of what is going to be done must be planned. A time sequence programmer.

31. It is important that time deadlines be set at various points so that programmes and procedures may be properly supervised and schedules met. ROLE OF FIRE SERVICE OFFICERS IN Mb0 PROGRAMMES 32. Every fire department needs to accomplish different goals during any period and from period and from period to period, the goals change to out-line in this short chapter a comprehensive set of strategic and operational goals that may have wide application is impossible. However, a hypothetical list of goals with their appropriate organizational level goals may help in detailing officer roles in Mb0 programmes. a. Examples of department Mission Statements (1) To provide sufficient stations located to supply the best possible protection of life and to minimize damage to property. (2) To provide the necessary apparatus and equipment for firefighters to carry out their responsibilities in the protection of life and property. (4) b. To minimize cost to taxpayers.

Examples of Station Strategic Goals (for officer in charge of station). (1) Provide and establish sufficient apparatus and equipment to meet airport fire protection needs. (2) Establish and achieve goals related to reduction in reaction and response times. (3) (4) Establish and achieve fire station maintenance goals. Establish and achieve goals relating to budget input procedures.

(5) Establish and achieve goals relating to greater efficiency in operational attack strategies. PRODUCTIVITY MANAGEMENT 33. Productivity is the most difficult function in the fire department for management to measure. The basic objective is the protection of life and property, which involves two major activities: a. Control of hazards to minimize fire losses and to prevent fires.

b. Dealing with actual fires and emergencies to keep suffering and losses at a minimum. FCS - M1 LO1 7

34. It is difficult to assess the number of fire and the suffering that have been prevented by fire department activities; likewise, the fact that most fires are suppressed with minimum losses and injuries does not indicate conclusively that an adequate level of fire department service has been provided. 35. Therefore, managements area of responsibility in obtaining the productivity essential to successful fire department operation is to ensure that a department operates as efficiently and effectively as possible in spite of any limitations in personnel or equipment or any obstacles that exist while responding to fires. Although this may seem a difficult task, there are many ways a fire department manager can ensure a high productivity for example: a. Records and Reports: A record system should be provided to supply the fire chief and the officers with data that indicates the department is effective in preventing and fighting fires. b. Water Procedures: In order to ensure adequate water supplies for firefighting, a project officer should be assigned to look into the maintenance of airport fire hydrant system. c. Operating Procedures: All operating procedures of the department, such as duty requirements of its members and response procedures for fires and emergencies should be published and circulated to all members of the department. d. Fire Investigation: The investigation of fires is basic to good fire department management since it results in bringing to light factors than can be used to lessen the number and severity of fires in the future. The findings from these investigations can also be used as a basis for fire preventions work in educating the public and in inspecting properties. e. Training: Fire officers and training officers can be used in formulating, guiding, and evaluating a departments training program. Training sessions could be used to discover capabilities and deficiencies of department members. f. Communications: Communications for a fire department involves not only emergency calls from the public, but also en route and fireground communications between fire department personnel. Regular testing and inspection of all means of communications can ensure adequate response time for effective fireground activity. g. Equipment and Buildings: Fire Department Management is responsible for evaluating and upgrading department facilities, apparatus, and personnel equipment in order to ensure good performance and safety on the job. h. Public Relations: The two main areas of responsibility in public relations for a fire department:

(1) (2)

Promoting public awareness of the fire department. Promoting public understanding of fire

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