A strategic plan is a management tool help a department to perform efficiently, safely and consider all potential pitfalls. The plan focuses the energy, resources, and time of everyone on the department in the on a common goal.  The best plans are reviewed and amended on a regular basis.

The plan can be as simple or as complex as you wish to make it. It can always be altered by further leadership.  Start with a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats or SWOT Analysis. The more you revise and the more everyone is on board with the common, prioritized goals, the department should work more smoothly. You may event end the arguments about how “this is how we always do it”  with a reference to such in the strategic plan.

Here are some items found on a strategic plan

Executive Summary
Organizational Background
Organizational Structure
Definition of a Community-Driven Strategic Plan
Process and Acknowledgements
Vision/Mission Statement
Community Group Findings
Community Priorities
Community Expectations
Areas of Community Concern
Positive Community Feedback
Other Thoughts and Comments
Mission
Values
Programs and Services
S.W.O.T. Analysis
Strengths
Weaknesses Opportunities
Threats
Critical Issues and Service Gaps/Opportunities
Strategic Initiatives
Goals and Objectives
Performance Measurement
The Success of the Strategic Plan
Services Provided
Expectations
Goals and Objectives
Feedback
Emergency Services Performance Objectives and targets
Fire and EMS Performance Objectives and targets

Create one and/or review on a regular basis before its too late!

Here is a Youtube video showing a strategic plan working though the thought process.

Here are some examples of other departments strategic plans.

City of Elgin

http://cityofelgin.org/DocumentCenter/View/55810

Seattle

http://www.seattle.gov/fire/deptinfo/StrategicPlan/SFD%20Strategic%20Plan%20for%202012-2017.pdf

St. Cloud

http://www.ci.stcloud.mn.us/DocumentCenter/Home/View/712

Glendale

http://www.glendaleca.gov/home/showdocument?id=500

Clark County

http://www.clarkcountynv.gov/fire/Documents/CCFD%20Annual%20Reports/2013-2017StrategicPlan.pdf

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