Best Term Papers

UC Fire Science & Emergency Management takes pleasure in presenting "best term papers" that have been selected by professors, and posted with the student's permission. It is our pleasure to recognize student achievement and promote best practices in the fire service.

Best Term Papers

2021

Peer Support and the Columbus Division of Fire

Matthew R. Dilsaver 

FST 3085 – Political and Legal Foundations of Fire Protection

Professor Lawrence T. Bennett

October 8, 2021

YouTube Video: Dilsaver CFD Peer Support Interview

CFDs Member Support Unit

Lt. Dave Gerold

614-221-3132-75370

dtgerold@columbus.gov

 

CERTIFICATION STATEMENT

I hereby certify that this paper constitutes my own product, that where the language of others is set forth, quotation marks so indicate, and that appropriate credit is given where I have used the language, ideas, expressions, or writings of another.

Signed: Matthew R. Dilsaver

Date: October 8, 2020

 

Abstract

In recent studies, more firefighters died from suicide than line of duty deaths. Firefighters are impacted by the stresses of firefighting, EMS, and the demands of everyday life. Some are affected more than others, and some more deeply at times; but fellow firefighters can help one another respond to these pressures with peer support groups. The purpose of this research was to describe peer support and the benefits of peer support. The research also described how the Columbus Division of Fire utilized peer support within the Division. The descriptive research used included a literature review. The descriptive research was used to answer the following questions for this applied research project: a) What is peer support? b) What are the benefits of peer support? c) How is the Columbus Division of Fire utilizing peer support? Specific recommendations for public safety departments to utilize peer support are noted in the recommendation section of this applied research project.

 

Introduction

In behavioral health, a peer is usually used to refer to someone who shares the experience of living with a psychiatric disorder and/or addiction (Mental Health America, 2021). Peer support has been around since the 18th century. Its first roots are traced back to a psychiatric hospital in France, where the governor of the facility recognized the value of employing recovered patients as hospital staff. The recovered patients were found to be gentler and more honest with patients than the staff (Lanning, 2020). 

Peer support programs can play an important role in keeping firefighters and their departments healthy and have proven to be an effective method for providing support to occupational groups (IAFF Staff, 2018).

The purpose of this applied research project is to describe peer support, the benefits of peer support, and how the Columbus Division of Fire (CFD) is utilizing peer support within the department. The following research questions will be addressed using the descriptive research method: a) What is peer support? b) What are the benefits of peer support? c) How is the Columbus Division of Fire utilizing peer support?

 

Background and Significance

As stated in the introduction, peer support has been around since the 18th century and is the process of giving and receiving encouragement and assistance to achieve long-term recovery. Peer supporters offer emotional support, share knowledge, teach skills, provide practical assistance, and connect people with resources, opportunities, communities of support, and other people (Mental Health America, 2021).

In the past, the fire service did not understand the toll firefighters took on a daily basis and viewed mental health issues as a weakness. Today, the fire service has recognized the need to take a larger role to support behavioral health. The International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) has rolled out programs that have trained thousands of firefighters in peer support techniques. These programs include an in-person, two-day peer support training program, an online behavior health training program, and have partnered with Advanced Recovery Systems to open a 64-bed treatment facility (Raney, 2019). 

Because of the IAFF and the mental health issues in the fire service, behavior health units are becoming more common in fire departments. The Columbus Division of Fire has established the Member Support Unit that works under the Training Bureau. The Member Support Unit is a group of uninformed division members trained in peer support. They give CFD members or their family members a confidential place to vent, share, or unload any concerns without shame or judgment. The Member Support Unit assist our members and their families with connections to resources that are appropriate for them and their situation.

The Columbus Division of Fire is a large-sized, paid, career department with 1,570 salaried positions. The fire department is funded along with police and other operations through the Columbus Public Safety Department budget that is set for 2020 at $647.4 million (Bush, 2019). Columbus Fire is set up of five bureaus: Administration Bureau, Emergency Services, Fire Prevention, Support Services, and the Training Bureau. Emergency Services is formed of 3 units, 1, 2 and 3 unit, that work a 24 hours on/ 48 hours off shift.

Columbus Division of Fire has seven battalions with 35 stations that serve the 217 square miles of the city of Columbus, Ohio and its 900,000 citizens. The city of Columbus is the fastest growing large city in the nation. CFD does both fire and emergency medical service (EMS) runs and had a total of 158,792 calls for service in 2018.

With Columbus Fire members serving the fourteenth largest city in America and responding to 6,103 structure, field and vehicle fires, hazardous conditions calls for service and 133,357 EMS and rescue calls for service in 2018, it is clear that CFD members are at an increased chance of accumulative events that can harm a firefighter’s mental health.

 

Literature Review

A literature review was conducted to establish an understanding of the benefits of a peer support program and how the Columbus Division of Fire is utilizing their Member Support Unit and peer support. 

 

Peer Support

With updated technology and completed studies on firefighters and mental health, the understanding of the cumulative damage to firefighters’ mental health is a hot topic in the fire service. Today, the fire service is seeing a large amount of post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD) and an extreme uptick in suicides. According to the FireRescue1 article, a recent study found that more firefighters and police officers died by suicide in 2017 than all line-of-duty deaths combined and suggested programs such as peer-to-peer assistance, mental health checkups and time off after particularly hard calls (2018). “According to the National Association of Mental Illness, in the general U.S. population, approximately 20 percent of people will suffer from a mental health condition annually, but it is estimated that up to 22 percent of firefighters suffer from PTSD…in one survey of over 1,000 active and retired firefighters, nearly half of respondents stated that they had considered suicide, which is over three times the rate of the general population. Additionally, 16 percent had actually attempted suicide, as compared to 2–9 percent of the general population” (Dreiman, 2018). Furthermore, according to the National Fallen Firefighter Foundation and the Firefighter Behavioral Health Alliance, firefighters are nearly 1.5 times more likely to die from suicide than they are to die in the line of duty (Wusterhausen).

Because of the increased numbers of PTSD and suicides in the fire service, departments throughout the country are embracing peer support programs as a bridge to treatment for firefighters who need it. “Peer Support Team members have the advantage of being close to the member who may be struggling. They live in the firehouse, so they can easily observe behavioral changes” (Stumnaugh, 2018). According to Doug Stern, director of media relations for the IAFF, in the American Psychological Association article, “the fire service is such a brotherhood and sisterhood, firefighters prefer to lean on each other, we talk about peer support as a bridge to other treatment” (2019). Furthermore, “as the number of firefighter PTSD diagnoses and firefighter suicides rise, it is vital all management and members get on board with addressing firefighter mental health. The goal of every department leader should be to have a healthy and happy workforce, and the way to do that is with a strong wellness program with four pillars: physical health training, behavioral health training, suicide prevention training and firefighter peer support services” (Conant, 2019). 

Before firefighters can experience the benefits of a peer support program, they have to understand the workings of the programs and how to utilize their peers. “Peer support is the process by which a trained member of the fire service provides confidential support to another member who is experiencing personal, emotional or work-related problems while acting as a bridge to outside professional services. Peer support builds off an existing rapport and mutual trust between two members of the same department or occupation” (IAFF Staff, 2018). “Peer support involves trained coworkers who are there to listen, mentor or provide support to others who are experiencing personal or professional difficulties” (Conant, 2019). Peer supporters are simply a bridge from an individual to further mental health resources (Lanning, 2020). “Peer support teams can also be proactive in dealing with responders who may be experiencing problems unrelated to an incident, such as family issues, financial difficulties, stress or anxiety, and substance abuse” (Conant, 2019).  Per the IAFF Behavioral Health Awareness course, peer support programs build trust among peers, creates a well-educated workforce, creates less absenteeism, prepares a workforce for crisis, and reduces stigma about accessing behavioral health services (IAFF Behavioral course, 2021).

To help fight mental illnesses and suicides in the fire service, the International Association of Firefighters has created multiple avenues for departments and firefighters to easily obtain help that is needed. The IAFF has partnered with Advanced Recovery Systems to create the IAFF Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health Treatment and Recovery. The IAFF states the facility “is a one-of-a-kind treatment facility specializing in PTSD for professional fire service members who struggle with trauma, substance use, addiction and other related behavioral health challenges. It is a safe haven for members to receive the help they need in taking the first steps toward recovery and share experiences with other members who have faced or overcome similar challenges” (IAFF, 2021). The IAFF has also created an online Behavioral Health Awareness course and a two-day, in-person interactive IAFF Peer Support Training program (Behavioral Health Program, 2021). Since 2017, more than 1,000 members have received treatment for substance abuse and accompanying issues such as PTSD, depression and anxiety at the IAFF Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health Treatment and Recovery. Also, since March 2016, more than 5,400 people have completed the Peer Support Program and another 7,800 fire personnel have completed IAFF's online behavioral health training program (Raney, 2019).

 

Columbus Division of Fire – Member Support Unit

The Columbus Division of Fire created the Member Support Unit in September of 2019. The decision was made to create the unit because of a high number of recent suicides the Division had faced, and the understanding that the members of CFD needed an improved outlet for mental health.

The CFD Member Support Unit provides confidential peer support, connects members to mental health, substance use, and wellness resources, develops and deliver training on wellness and resiliency, develops and delivers training to the Peer Support Team, coordinates CISM activations, supports the Chaplain Team, and outreach and coordination with local fire agencies and law enforcement.

The Member Support Unit is ran by a lieutenant and two firefighters that are on a forty hour work schedule. The unit is ran under the Training Bureau with the thought process that the unit would be training new and established firefighters on avenues for mental health improvements. The Division did not want firefighters to worry about disciplinary actions from their peer support meetings or to have the perception that the Chief of the Division controlled the conversations within the meetings.

CFD currently has 60 members that are trained for peer support and has a process established for interested members to become trained for peer support. A member must be recommended for the peer support team and the peer support committee interviews and handpicks members to join the team. Once a member is chosen, they attend a sixteen-hour course through the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation and an additional eight-hour course through the Member Support Unit.

Currently, the Member Support Unit is training the recruit classes, journeyman that recently completed the apprenticeship process, and individual stations. The Division’s thought process is to build a mental wellness outlet foundation with the newer employees and educate the outlets available to the established firefighters on the streets. The recruits are taught twenty hours of general wellness and mental wellness material through their fire academy training. The Member Support Unit trains the following classes during the forty-week academy: Introduction of Wellness Teams, General Wellness, Mental Toughness and Resilience, The 5 Givens, Brain Science and Trauma, Critical Incident Stress, and Cumulative Stress and Peer Support. The recently appointed journeymen are trained in a four-hour Suicide Awareness and Prevention course. This course not only covers suicide in the fire service, but the outlets available to public safety members if they are in need. Additionally, the Member Support Unit is meeting at individual stations to educate members on the streets and leaving advertisements of mental health wellness and available outlets for mental health.

Lastly, the City of Columbus has partnered with the Columbus Division of Fire and Police to create the Police and Fire Joint Wellness Center. This center will give City of Columbus public safety members a place, away from their departments, to find help. The Joint Wellness Center will open in March of 2022 and holds a fitness/ yoga studio, counselling rooms for peer support, quiet/ meditation rooms, classrooms, and the offices for the Member Support Unit and Columbus Division of Police officers.

 

Results

The descriptive research method was used in this applied reach project to answer the following questions: a) What is peer support? b) What are the benefits of peer support? c) How is the Columbus Division of Fire utilizing peer support? These questions were looked at in the literature review section of this applied research project. The literature review found that peer support programs are a bridge to outside definitive behavioral health and/or addiction treatment (OAPFF, 2021). Per the IAFF Behavioral Health Awareness course, peer support programs build trust among peers, creates a well-educated workforce, creates less absenteeism, prepares a workforce for crisis, and reduces stigma about accessing behavioral health services (IAFF Behavioral course, 2021). The literature review also covered the Member Support Unit at the Columbus Division of Fire and how the Member Support Unit was operating and growing to maximize mental fitness through education, training, and peer outreach.

 

Discussion

The benefits that public safety departments can give their members by creating and utilizing a peer support program is astronomical to public safety members mental health. Departments statewide have a large array of resources that can be used to support a peer support program within their department. Departments can send members to in-person trainings or online trainings with guidelines to create peer support programs. Because of the ease and the proven facts about PTSD and suicides in the fire service, public safety departments have no excuses to not utilize these programs. “Research shows that peer support programs are an effective method for providing help. The IAFF Peer Support Training program, initiated in 2016, teaches members about common behavioral health problems that impact members in the fire service, how to provide one-on-one peer support and how to develop or enhance a peer support program. Peer support helps firefighters get confidential support from other IAFF members who are trained to provide assistance and build trust” (IAFF Staff, 2019).

 

Recommendations

The purpose of this applied research project was to describe peer support programs, the benefits from peer support programs, and explain how the Columbus Division of Fire was utilizing its Member Support Unit and peer support program. The descriptive research method was chosen to describe the benefits and a literature review was conducted. At the conclusion of the this applied research project, the researcher believes it is in all public safety departments interest to work with the IAFF and partner with outside mental health agencies to build a peer support program within their department. Public safety departments can utilize any of the resources provided by the IAFF to start their peer support program. Furthermore, public safety departments can network with other departments to create a working relationship to improve mental health support in their departments. However a department goes about creating and implementing a peer support program within their department, the researcher believes it is obvious that a peer support program is needed in any size department to maintain and improve first responders’ overall health.

 

References

Behavioral Health Program. (2021). IAFF. https://www.iaff.org/behavioral-health/#peer-support

Conant, Joseph. (2019, April 22). Firefighter Peer Support: The Missing Piece of the Mental Health Puzzle. Lexipol.

Dreiman, Brandon. (2018, August 1). Health and Wellness: Firefighter Peer Support. Firehouse.

FireRescue1 Staff. (2018, April13). Study: More Firefighters Died By Suicide Than in the Line of Duty in 2017. FireRescue1.

IAFF Behavorial Health Course. (2021). IAFF. 

IAFF Staff. (2018, January 8). How Peer Support Can Combat Addiction and PTSD. IAFF Recovery Center. 

IAFF Staff. (2019, November 1). Columbus Local 67: Setting the Standard for Mental Health Care

IAFF. (2021). IAFF Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health Treatment and Recovery. IAFF Recovery Center.

Lanning, Michael. (2020, April 10). The Power of Peer Support in the Fire Service. Fire Engineering. 

Mental Health America. (2021). What Is A Peer?

OAPFF. (2021). OAPFF Peer Supporters. Ohio Association of Professional Firefighters. 

Raney, Rebecca. (2019, December 4). Fire Departments Step Up Their Mental Health Game. American Psychological Association. 

Stumbaugh, Sean. (2018, February 21). 3 Tactics for Combating Firefighter PTSD. Lexipol.

Wusterhausen, Billy. (2020, February 1). Health and Wellness: Firefighter Suicide: Risk Factors and Warning Signs. Firehouse. 

 

Fighting A Pandemic, Within A Pandemic

Robert Blair Temple

University of Cincinnati

FST. 3085 Section 001

Professor Lawrence T Bennett

March 3, 2021

 

CERTIFICATION STATEMENT

I hereby certify that this paper constitutes my product, that where the language of others is set forth, quotation marks so indicate, and that appropriate credit is given where I have used the language, ideas, expressions, or writings of another.

SIGNED: Robert Blair Temple   DATE:    03/03/2021                    

 

Abstract

The purpose of this research was to look at the effectiveness of combating an opioid pandemic while simultaneously navigating the obstacles of the coronavirus pandemic.  In our community of Greenville, Ohio, which is a small, rural community, the trials of simultaneous demands from the coronavirus and increased opioid use can be taxing on our local healthcare systems.  The pandemic has been associated with increased mental health concerns leading to increased substance abuse, which in turn can create increase in demand.  Historical research was conducted to determine the history of the problem and the increase of overdoses to the current time frame. Descriptive and evaluative research was used to address current demands and see where interventions currently are. Action research was conducted using reports provided by the Coalition for a Healthy Darke County. Chief Brian Phillips was a major asset when interviewing, collecting data, and reviewing a history of the opioid crisis that is present in the county.  Chief Phillips has been instrumental in an intervention team and provided various details and insights that the teams are doing and continue to evaluate to try and alleviate the demands of the opioid crisis along with the demands of the coronavirus pandemic. As this report moves through the information obtained, defined problems, listed solutions, the recommendation at the end will draw on a conclusion of the collective resources provided to assist with the efforts that continue to be made by various groups.  

 

Introduction

2017 sparked an issue with opioid overdose rates that would be a burden on all communities and their local healthcare systems.  No area was exempt from the issues that came forth. Small rural communities with small healthcare systems would have to find various ways to accommodate increased demands with patients, medications, and mental health/addiction services.  Fast forward to 2020 and again these systems would be hit by another pandemic.  While still fighting the opioid pandemic, providers in all settings now had to combat increased patient care loads, increased mental health and addiction issues, and try and keep themselves in an operable state.  How would they accomplish the demands being put on them?  Speaking with Chief Brian Phillips at Greenville Township Emergency services, I was able to discuss the concept of my research, discussing what the local public service entities were doing to continue their effort to combat an opioid crisis even though new demands had been placed on them due to the corona virus pandemic.  I used an historical research approach to look at the progression of the problem from 2017-2021.  I then took an evaluative research approach to analyze various resolutions that have been proposed and are in place to combat this issue.  I was able to gather information from Chief Phillips about the National Institute of Health’s (NIH) Heal Initiative, recent meeting minutes from the Coalition for a Healthy Darke County, and annual call data from the county regarding overdose calls. 

 

Background and Significance

Darke County is in the west central side of Ohio, sharing the state line with Indiana.  The largest city within the county is Greenville.  Greenville city and township are in the center portion of the county.  The county seat is also located in Greenville.  In 2017, the county had a spike in overdose calls, totaling 118 overdoses with 10 suspected deaths.  The county would see another spike in 2020, totaling 134 overdoses with 15 suspected deaths.  Please reference appendix I for an annual comparison. Please reference appendix II for Darke County COVID-19 numbers. Darke county has one hospital centrally located in Greenville.  The emergency medical system is provided by various rescue agencies staffed at various levels with various staffing categories.  Most services are volunteer/part-time, with 2 full-time staffed agencies.  When we look at the increased numbers of calls from the overdoses and Covid-19 pandemic, this is where it became burdensome on entities.  Most agencies have a 10–15-minute transport time to the hospital from their respective locations, and if mutual aid is needed, the 10–15-minute time frame will come into play again.  How do we begin to combat the overdose crisis that is thinning out our services? Some local leaders from the county health department, rescue agencies, sheriff’s office, local law enforcement agencies apply to become part of a grant study.  This grant would be funded through the National Institute of Health (NIH).  “The HEALing Communities Study will test the integration of prevention, overdose treatment, and medication-based treatment in select communities hard hit by the opioid crisis” (Chandler, 2020).  A few unique parts to the issues with the opioid issue within the county is its location along major highways and midpoint between a few major cities.  Following state route 49, which runs through Greenville, south, will take you to Interstate 70.  This route will also meet up with Interstate 75 and Dayton is roughly an hour drive from Greenville.  Troy, Piqua, and Sidney can all be accessed via state routes 36 and 48 along with other major highways.  When looking at the locations data of overdoses, we can see that Greenville (2) and Arcanum (2) have the highest overdoses, and both are along the major highways that lead to larger cities that were affected.  Reference Appendix 3.  Analyzing the data and the charts that were provided by Chief Phillips, and agencies that he had been given stats from, it is hopeful that areas of concern can be identified and that the solutions that are being proposed can be implemented within those areas.  It is with follow-up reports throughout this year that we can predict what 2022 may bring, but also find a correlation between interventions done, and the trajectory we may be on. Interventions that have been proposed and implemented have been leave behind Narcan kits by EMS providers, Inmates being released from jail being given Narcan kits and educational aids, a team going to locations of overdoses to provide education and resources available, ideas for transportation to get individuals to and from therapies and including various faith-based groups and agencies to assist with provide education and aid.  These were presented by the NIH HEAL initiative by Dr. Laurie White. 

 

Literature Review

I reviewed the literature Chief Phillips provided to include The Coalition for a Healthy Darke County Meeting minutes, power point slides and data from the NIH Heal initiative, and an article that gave more in depth understanding of the NIH Heal initiative, the various places that it was taking place, and contact persons for the locations. I was able to review the Intervention updates and it provided some information on the EMS leave behind Narcan bags that is in the works.  Chief Phillips advised that this procedure is in the works, but it is taking time to ensure that all legal requirements and pharmacy board requirements are being satisfied.  It is not uncommon that individuals are receiving Narcan prior to the arrival of EMS.  There are some other items that are being put into the works to include transportation for treatment, a community healthcare worker, housing unit for individuals and a psychiatrist working with the coalition, within the county.  Data updates revealed that 2020 had a significant increase with opioid overdose and deaths.  Interventions began to be approved late 2020 and still into 2021.  2021 will be a good start to comparing trending data and see the results of the programs.  One of the final pieces of data that I reviewed was the financial aspects of the grant.  The slide from the power point will be provided in Appendix IV.  As Chief Phillips and I discussed some of the aspects of the study and various interventions that are going on within the community, public trust of the programs and proof of the effectiveness will be needed to continue the programs when the grant money is up.  We talked about various avenues but one we seemed to agree on is the need to show the public that there is some sort of risk reduction and financial savings by having and continuing these programs. 

 

Procedures

Chief Phillips was very instrumental in assisting me with the data and information regarding the program.  I discussed with him my goal was to review the initial procedure that were done when our area became affected by the opioid crisis.  I discussed with him that I was interested in seeing the increase in overdoses over the 2020-time frame and seeing how much it had increased, also the demand it put on providers.  Information was gathered from the NIH Heal Initiative that had shown finances of the project, data of the calls, procedures that were being implemented.  These included bar graphs that could show trends that were present of the time frame of 2017-2021.  A specific chart was given that had shown the Darke County Sheriff’s Office and Darke County Coroner’s Office findings.  These charts are available in the appendix.  Regarding the corona virus, I went to the Darke County Health Departments website which showed the dashboard.  I also collected a few reports of the Coalition for a Healthy Darke County, meeting minutes to evaluate where the program is. 

 

Results

Results that were available at the time of this work showed that the monthly comparison of overdoses from January 2021 to have increased from what they were in January of 2020. Program interventions are still fresh within the community and navigating the guidelines of the corona virus pandemic also slow some of the processes down.  A psychiatrist will be starting at the family health center 3/2021 and the position for a community coordinator is still working to be filled.

 

Discussion

Based on the findings, I think that the initiative is going to have success with interventions being provided.  Education seems to be a large part of this project.  This can be continued with the teams that are following up from monthly overdose reports, discharges from the hospital, inmate releases.  I would challenge the consideration that EMS providers also be provided educational aids to be left, talked about, especially if there is movement forward with leave behind Narcan.  From 2017 to now, we are seeing that overdose calls are moving more quickly and efficiently with the use of Narcan prior to arrival of EMS.  Where we had to be careful with whole crews going in, contamination concerns, and units out of service, continuous improvement is improving turn around times and provider’s care.  With teams providing education and aid, this could continue to decrease.  As the restrictions from the pandemic become less, more individuals may be able to get involved.

 

Recommendations

It is my recommendation that the committee and the teams continue moving forward with the education being provided to people struggling with addiction, their families, and providers.  Providers that are in the street, meeting the individuals can provide valuable resources and education and possibly be an exchange point for providing more Narcan.  I would encourage that the initiative continues to pursue a community coordinator that will be able to oversee the project, provide important data that could be given to providers and the community, and push the benefit of having this program in place.  I recommend that consideration be made that local transport agencies be considered as possible avenues to getting individuals back and forth to treatment.  I also encourage the committee to continue pursuing a location or a home that could provide addicts seeking immediate treatment but need supervision in the interim, to go.  

 

References

Chandler, Redonna. (2020). HEALing Communities Study. Retrieved on 03/03/2021.

Darke County Health Department. (2021). CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) UPDATE. Retrieved on 03/03/2021.

Healing Initiative Board. (2021). NIH Heal Initiative Healing Study Ohio Program Update. Powerpoint. Department of Health and Human Services

The Benefits of Utilizing Fusion Centers

Matthew R. Dilsaver

FST 3021 – Terrorism & Homeland Security for Emergency Responders

Professor Lawrence T. Bennett

December 2, 2020

 

CERTIFICATION STATEMENT

I hereby certify that this paper constitutes my own product, that where the language of others is set forth, quotation marks so indicate, and that appropriate credit is given where I have used the language, ideas, expressions, or writings of another.

Signed: Matthew R. Dilsaver                                       Date: December 2, 2020

 

Abstract

Ohio public safety departments are underutilizing local fusion centers, which restricts the flow of information that could be obtained from the federal government to State, Local, Tribal and Territorial, and private sector partners. The purpose of this research is to describe the benefits to Ohio public safety departments for utilizing local fusion centers. The descriptive research used included a literature review. The descriptive research was to answer the following question for this applied research project: What are the benefits to Ohio public safety departments for utilizing local fusion centers? Specific recommendations for public safety departments to utilize fusion centers are noted in the recommendation section of this applied research project.

Introduction

Fusion Centers are state-owned and operated centers that serve as focal points in states and major urban areas for the receipt, analysis, gathering and sharing of threat-related information between state, local, tribal and territorial, federal and private sector partners (Homeland Security Fusion, 2019). They are actual physical locations that house equipment and staff from multiple local and federal agencies that analyze and share intelligence. There are 78 recognized fusion centers that are listed on the Department of Homeland Security website with three being located in Ohio.

The purpose of this applied research project is to describe the benefits that Ohio public safety departments gain from utilizing local fusion centers. The following research question will be addressed using the descriptive research method: What are the benefits to Ohio public safety departments for utilizing local fusion centers?

Background and Significance

After the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, many states and major urban areas established fusion centers to improve the sharing of information between state, local, tribal, territorial, and federal government agencies and the private sector. The National Network of Fusion Centers (National Network or NNFC) was the outcome from these state and locally owned and operated fusion centers. “The function of the National Network is to collaborate across jurisdictions and sectors to effectively and efficiently detect, prevent, investigate, and respond to criminal and terrorist activity” (National Strategy Introduction and Overview, 2014).

The National Network of Fusion Centers foundation of informational sharing is traced back to The 9/11 Commission Report, which states “information should be shared horizontally, across new networks that transcend individual agencies,” and the 2003 National Criminal Intelligence Sharing Plan (NCISP). The NCISP is the blueprint that improved the sharing of information and criminal intelligence nationally. The focus on information sharing and joining state, local, and tribal entities was then further addressed in the 2004 Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act (IRTPA). The IRTPA called for the creation of the Information Sharing Environment (ISE) (National Strategy History, 2014).

Fusion centers contribute to the Information Sharing Environment (ISE) through their role in receiving threat information from the federal government; analyzing that information in the context of their local communities; supplying that information to local agencies; and gathering tips, leads, and suspicious activity reporting (SAR) from local agencies and the public. Fusion centers receive information from a variety of sources, including SAR from stakeholders within their jurisdictions, as well as federal information and intelligence. Fusion centers analyze the information and develop products to distribute to their communities. These products assist homeland security partners at all levels of government to identify and address immediate and emerging threats (Homeland Security Fact Sheet, 2019).

There are 78 recognized fusion centers with three being in Ohio. The primary fusion center located in Columbus is the Ohio Statewide Terrorism Analysis & Crime Center. The other two fusion centers are federally recognized and are the Greater Cincinnati Fusion Center located in Cincinnati, and the Northeast Ohio Regional Fusion Center located in Cleveland. Primary fusion centers provide information sharing and analysis for an entire state. Primary centers are the highest priority for the distribution of federal resources, including the deployment of personnel and connectivity with federal data systems. Recognized centers provide information sharing and analysis for major urban areas (Homeland Security Fusion Center Locations, 2020).

Literature Review

A literature review was conducted to establish an understanding of the benefits to Ohio public safety departments when they choose to utilize local fusion centers.

For public safety departments to see the benefits of utilizing local fusion centers, public safety departments have to build a working relationship with fusion center members. When fusion centers and public safety departments are able to communicate and create a working relationship, they can achieve an all-crimes and all-hazard baseline capability.

Public safety members work in the community and can contribute to community safety by applying a “see something, say something” principal. With this principal, public safety members could potentially inform fusion centers with information that may otherwise have went unreported on suspicious materials and activities, observed criminal acts, or terrorism precursors (Homeland Security & Department of Justice, 2010).

Public safety members have an understanding of their communities’ various types of threats (high populated areas, hazardous material locations and transportation routes), existing infrastructure vulnerabilities within their communities (from conducting building and construction inspections), and the potential consequences that various threats represent. This perspective adds an important dimension to all-hazard risk assessments, preparedness activities, and mitigation operations (Homeland Security & Department of Justice, 2010).

Through the working relationship of public safety members and fusion centers, a strong information and intelligence sharing relationship can improve public safety department’s measures in prevention, protection, response, recovery, and safety. Per the Firehouse article, DHS Wants Fire Service to Join Fusion Centers, listed below are improvements that can build from a working relationship between public safety and fusion centers:

  • Fire service personnel can contribute to the identification and reporting of threats that may lead to accidental, criminal, or terrorist incidents and can serve as an information and analytical resource for the production of intelligence to support incident prevention efforts
  • Fire service personnel can provide a valuable perspective to the identification and reporting of critical infrastructure and key resource vulnerabilities and the identification of potential consequences of threats exploiting those vulnerabilities.
  •  Fire service personnel can contribute to, receive, and share information and intelligence to support the effective response operations of all emergency service providers.
  • Fire service personnel can contribute to, receive, and share information and intelligence to support the continuity of government and reconstitution of critical infrastructure operations.
  • Fire service personnel can contribute to and receive information and intelligence on terrorism techniques, target hazards, and natural disaster trends, to enhance situational awareness and proactive measures for protecting the health and safety of all emergency responders (2010).

Ohio public safety departments can improve, become safer, and more prepared by strengthening the relationship with their members and fusion centers. Ohio is one state out of 12 that has multiple fusion centers. This gives Ohio public safety departments an edge because the fusion centers in their specific region will be better educated and informed of potential threats in their area.

 

Results

 The descriptive research method was used in this applied reach project to answer the following question: What are the benefits to Ohio public safety departments for utilizing local fusion centers? This question was looked at in the literature review section of this applied research project. The literature review found Ohio public safety departments can benefit in the aspects of prevention, protection, response, recovery, and safety when working with fusion centers. By building a working relationship and being able to communicate, local agencies will be better informed of potential threats and become better prepared for threats of their communities. By being able to be more informed and prepared public safety department members become safer and the communities they serve become safer.

Discussion

The benefits that Ohio public safety departments can gain from working with local fusion centers is astronomical to the safety of public safety and community members. By creating a working relationship and having continuous communication of threats within a community, public safety members can prepare, train, and prevent future threats. Per the Fire Service Integration for Fusion Centers, “timely and actionable information and intelligence concerning threats, vulnerabilities, and other potential hazards are imperative to provide situational awareness to all emergency services personnel. Information and intelligence generated by the fusion center and disseminated to fire service and other emergency services constituents can help guide their preparedness activities (planning, training, staging, etc.), as well as enhance responder safety during response and recovery operations” (2010).

Any time a department within public safety can gain more information to prepare or prevent an incident, and train their members is a success. To gain information from local fusion centers, agencies need to start the communication cycle. Ohio public safety departments can build their networks and working relationships by utilizing local fusion centers. The three fusion centers located in Ohio consist of multiple agencies such as: Franklin County Sheriff’s Department, Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department, Columbus Division of Fire, Columbus Division of Police, Cleveland Police, Cuyahoga County Security and Research, Ohio National Guard, State Highway Patrol, Homeland Security, and the Department of Justice. In the chance of a major incident where public safety departments have utilized fusion centers, the relationships with these agencies are already established and communications have begun before the incident started; giving all agencies a head start to decrease damages and causalities. The benefits of having these relationships and communication established is substantial.

 

Recommendation

The purpose of this applied research project was to describe the benefits that Ohio public safety departments gain from utilizing local fusion centers. The descriptive research method was chosen to describe the benefits and a literature review was conducted. At the conclusion of this applied research project, the researcher believes it is in all public safety departments interest to become involved in fusion centers and build a working relationship with the agencies involved in local fusion centers. Public safety departments can create a Fusion/Terrorism/Intelligence Liaison Officer (FLOs/ TLOs/ILOs) position to provide information directly to fusion centers and to facilitate vital information sharing between departments and fusion centers (Homeland Security & Department of Justice, 2010). The creation of this position within a department creates a set person that builds the relationship and communication between different agencies. This position can be a fulltime position for bigger departments, or it can be a specific person or team on a department that fulfills the position’s duties to create the relationships and communication needed. However a department goes about utilizing a fusion center, the researcher believes it is obvious that fusion centers should be utilized and utilizing fusion centers makes Ohio’s public safety departments safer, more progressive, better prepared, and more knowledgeable in possible threats in their communities.

 

References

2014-2017 National Strategy for the National Network of Fusion Centers. (2014, July). Introduction and Overview. 

2014-2017 National Strategy for the National Network of Fusion Centers. (2014, July). The History of the National Network. 

Homeland Security & Department of Justice. (2010). Fire Service Integration for Fusion Centers. 

Homeland Security. (2019, August 16). National Network of Fusion Centers Fact Sheet.  

Homeland Security. (2019, September 19). Fusion Centers. 

Homeland Security. (2020, October 27). Fusion Center Locations and Contact Information. 

Nicol, Susan. (2010, April 30). DHS Wants Fire Service to Join Fusion Centers. Firehouse. 

2020

Leadership and Mentorship At Deerfield Township Fire Rescue

Adam Farwick

University of Cincinnati

FST 3085-Political and Legal Foundations

October 2020

 

CERTIFICATION STATEMENT

I hereby certify that the following statements are true:

I certify that this paper is my own work, based on my personal study and research and that I have acknowledged all material and sources used in its preparation, whether they be books, articles, reports, and any other kind of document, electronic or personal communication.

Signed:            Adam Farwick              

          Date:             10th, October 2020                     

 

Abstract

It has been said before that you are only as good as your weakest member, be that in the corporate world on in the fire service. Fundamentals of the fire service can be taught, built upon, trained on several times and most people become proficient in the job. While mentorship and leadership qualities cannot be measured, they do play a huge role in the success of the fire service. The next generation of firefighters should be able to effortlessly fill the ranks of their predecessors and continue the success of an organization, or even improve the organization.  For this reason, it is essential to develop standards of mentorships and leadership training.

The problem is that Deerfield Township Fire Rescue does not have standard mentorship programs and does not require leadership training for its members. This could leave the department vulnerable to a lull in important leadership roles, if someone is unexpectedly unable to continue their duties. The purpose of this research was to identify what steps DTFR should take to develop and standardize the mentorship style it currently uses and determine if it is beneficial for its members to have leadership training.

Descriptive research was utilized to complete this research. Questionnaires and literature review will help to contrive data that can be analyzed to determine what steps should be taken to maximize mentorship and what leadership training they should require, if any. The following three questions were posed to direct the research:

1.      What is leadership? Can it be taught and is it important?

2.      Why is mentorship important and who can benefit from it?

3.      Should the department require leadership training for its officers?

 

Introduction

The success of any organization depends on the individuals for which the organization is constructed. In order to have success an organization must have its leaders and followers. Throughout the process of working together individuals will naturally create relationships and some will result in mentorship or some kind. This creates importance for mentorship and development of an organization’s leadership team. The fire service is such an organization that will most certainly benefit from these key ideas, given the nature of the work.

The problem is that Deerfield Township Fire Rescue does not currently have programs or training pertaining to mentorship or leadership. The purpose of this research was to identify what steps DTFR should take to develop a mentorship program, and what leadership training could benefit the organization.  Descriptive research will be utilized to complete this research. Literature review as well as a survey will help to collect data that can be analyzed to determine what steps should be taken to develop such programs.

The questions that will be answered by this research paper are (A) What is leadership? Can it be taught and is it important? (B)Why is mentorship important and who can benefit from it? And (C) Should the department require leadership training for its officers?

 

Background and Significance

Deerfield Township is in Warren County Ohio, twenty miles north of Cincinnati, Ohio. From the last consensus in 2017, Deerfield Township has 39,188 residence spread over 16.1 sq./miles in 14,355 households (U.S. Census Bureau , 2018). Deerfield Township consists of mostly residential housing and neighborhoods but has a significant number of hotels, office buildings and commercial buildings. Deerfield Township borders several similar communities such as Mason, Loveland and Hamilton Township. 

Since 1998, Deerfield Township Fire Rescue has grown into a progressive department.  DTFR is a career department that currently has 42 full-time employees and approximately 50 part-time employees. DTFR is also in the process of hiring 6 additional full-time employees and promoting 2 to Lieutenant and 1 to Captain. The department operates on a three-unit-day rotation, 24 hours on-duty and 48 hours off-duty. With the additional positions the full-time staff includes 33 Firefighter/medics, 8 Lieutenants and 4 Captains who follow the 24/48-hour rotations. This department also includes the Fire Chief, three Battalion Chiefs, and a 40-hour Lieutenant and Captain. DTFR offers many services to the community and is truly an all hazards fire department. These services include, emergency medical services, fire suppression, hazardous material mitigation, technical rescue(s), public relations, fire prevention and life safety inspections to name a few. DTFR made 4642 total calls in 2019 of that number 3166 were EMS calls (FRMS ND).

Below are the requirements for Deerfield Township Fire Rescue promotions by rank

    Lieutenant

            o   Five years’ experience as full-time Firefighter and EMS provider

            o   75% competition of Associates degree in Fire Service-related course field

    Captain

            o   Five years’ experience as full-time Firefighter and EMS provider

            o   Three years’ experience as full-time Lieutenant (or above rank)

            o   75% competition of Associates degree in Fire Service-related course field

            o   Bachelor’s degree preferred

    Battalion

            o   Bachelor’s degree in Fire Service-related course field

            o   Master’s degree in Fire Service-related course field

            o   Five Years of full-time supervisory experience at the rank of Captain and ten years’                  experience as full-time Firefighter and EMS provider

            o   Must complete the Executive Fire Officers Program or another approved Executive                 Leadership Program within the first fire years of employment

    Chief

            o   Master’s degree in Fire Service-related course field

            o   Five Years of full-time supervisory experience at the rank of Battalion and fifteen                 years’ experience as full-time Firefighter and EMS provider

            o   Graduate of the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program

            o   Chief Fire Officer Credentialing obtained by the Center for Public Safety Excellence

              (Deerfield Township Fire Rescue, 2018)

No further requirements are necessary to obtain promotion at DTFR, however, part of the promotional process does include evaluation of one’s resume. To boost a resume, individuals seek further outside training to include the Fire Officer series, additional rescue tech certifications, fire and ems instructor etc. Since these positions have historically been chosen from the current employees of the department, you would imagine there would be steps, guiding those seeking promotion, to be able to follow for the best outcome and qualified candidate to obtain the promotion. DTFR does offer certain professional development tools that employees can take advantage of, however, there is no mentorship program or leadership trainings offered to gain the knowledge and skills needed for the position. There is a minimum standard for promotion, but it is up the individuals seeking promotion to work on standing out by building their resume, without direction from the department. The current processes do not assure consistency in quality of those promoted and appears to weigh more on results of a process and testing scores versus key personality traits carried by the individual.

Since there is no mentorship program or leadership training, concerning the supervisory roles of Lieutenant through the position of Captain, promotions within DTFR have been inconsistent. This has been proven with past demotions of officers in the department. The finding within this applied research paper could have profound effects within DTFR. Creating urgency in developing a mentorship program that will provide mentoring a framework for future leadership of this department while also elevating the level and consistency within the ranks of this department. Furthermore, it may be beneficial to include additional factors for choosing future leaders such as the intangible personal attributes and strengths.

 

Literature Review

Literature review was done to discover the importance of mentorship as it relates to the fire service. It was also used to identify what qualities make a good leader, and if leadership training is relevant to the needs of Deerfield Township Fire Rescue. According to (Reh, 2019) “mentoring consists of a long-term relationship focused on supporting the growth and development of the mentee.” Reh (2019) defines the mentor as” a source of wisdom, teaching, and support, but not someone who observes and advises on specific actions or behavioral changes in daily work.”

Kruse (2013) explains what leadership looks like, stating leadership stems from social influence and requires others, with no mention of personality traits or titles. He also states that leadership includes a goal but not influence with no intended outcome. Kruse ties all this together in one sentence:

 “Leadership is a process of social influence, which maximizes the efforts of others, toward the achievement of a goal” (Kruse, 2013)

Leaders and mentors both have distinctive characteristics and have been categorized based on personality elements and approach. Each style of mentoring and leadership have been described and interpreted in different ways. Moreover, mentorship is similar to coaching, and leadership is closely related to management. However, there are key difference between these items.

Pinksy (2017) explains that “leaders are models for fair and ethical behavior, while managers are models for efficiency, achievement, and prosperity.” He divides the two by saying that good managers do not need to be charismatic or rally the troops, but that leaders can rally others in times of need while not necessarily defining purpose or monitor progress. Pinksy (2017) concludes that “management skills can be taught and learned through formal education and experience” … while… “leadership is generally learned through modeling behavior of another and challenging one’s own ideas.”

 Boogaard (n.d.) describes 8 leadership styles and places them into these categories: Transactional Leadership, Transformational Leadership Servant Leadership, Democratic Leadership, Autocratic Leadership, Bureaucratic Leadership, Laissez-Faire Leadership and Charismatic Leadership. Each have their own characteristics including both pros and cons. A few examples of this would be “transactional leaders dish out instructions to their team members and then use different rewards and penalties to either recognize or punish what they do in response” (Boogaard, n.d.). The pro to this type of leadership can be the elimination of confusion because tasks and expectations are clearly established by the leader, while a con to this style is it can create a stiff environment and creativity may be impeded. The style most common in the fire service might fall under the Servant Leadership style. Boogaard (n.d.) describes these types of leader as one whom “focus on elevating and developing the people who follow them.” The pros of this style are that “this approach boosts morale and leads to a high level of trust, which results in better employee performance and a more positive company culture overall”….while the cons are suggested to be “challenging” because of  “constantly pushing your own needs and priorities to the backburner isn’t something that comes as second nature for most of us”(Boogar, n.d.)

Mentors also have their own unique qualities and style. Rashid (2017) describes just three of the more common type below:

The Challenger- who asks questions about why your comfort zone is the way it is, until it no longer exists.

The Cheerleader- who relentlessly boosts your self-esteem and confidence until you feel brave enough to stop over your own boundaries.

The Coach- who is a wizen veteran providing the knowledge you need to innovate - or overcome the same adversity they did.                                             

            (Rashid, 2017)

Mentoring can sometimes be confused with coaching and they do have similarities. “Mentoring consists of a long-term relationship focused on supporting the growth and development of the mentee. The mentor becomes a source of wisdom, teaching, and support, but not someone who observes and advises on specific actions or behavioral changes in daily work” (Reh, 2019). Coaching, on the other hand usually has a duration of time and are not infinite. Mentorship, as mentioned above, usually last a lifetime. “Coaches help professionals correct behaviors that detract from their performance or strengthen those that support stronger performance around a given set of activities (2019).

 

Procedures

Several procedures and resources were used during this research. The procedures included a ten-question survey that was sent to 31 individuals consisting of fire service professionals and a few business professionals. Review of current policies and procedures within Deerfield Township Fire Rescue was also utilized as well as interviews and data retrieved from reputable online sources, books, and journals.

The primary data was collected through a survey. The results have been included in Appendix A. The respondents completed an online survey which asked the following questions:

1.      Does your department provide leadership training?

2.      Does you department have a mentorship program?

3.      Are mentorship programs important?

4.      Why or why not?

5.      Is leadership training necessary? Why or why not?

6.      Do you have a mentor?

7.      How have they influenced you?

8.      Name three qualities of a good leader.

9.      What leadership book or training would you recommend?

10.  In your opinion, does your department hire on basis of true leadership qualities or experience and time on the job? Explain.

Follow-up interviews were obtained to gather deeper opinions and facts of some of the respondents of the survey. This was done to collect more detailed knowledge pertaining to those departments that have experience in using mentorship programs first-hand, and to gain the opinion of individuals who have experience in leadership training. Additional data was retrieved through trusted internet source to demonstrate the importance of the topic.

The limitations of the survey included the inability to engage in dialog with the correspondents, and diversification of participants (i.e. most correspondents were from fire departments). Also, the period for a response was brief, which limited the number of responses received. The limitations of the descriptive research included limited data pertaining to mentorship programs for departments of the likeness of DTFR. Many departments, similar in size, run volume and employees do not have information that discusses such procedures; or they simply do not exist. Gathering data showing the development, procedures and assumed benefits of mentorship programs and leadership training was able to be retrieved through research.

 

Results

A survey conducted, using surveymonkey.com, was sent to 31 individuals, mostly fire service professions from line firefighter up to Fire Captain, 3 were sent to business professionals, and only 11 submitted the survey. Of the correspondents all 11 answered “Yes” to question 5; Is leadership training necessary? Why or why not? On the other hand, 2 of the 11 questioned answered that a mentorship program is not important, with one skipping the question entirely.

Of those surveyed 55% answered their organization has leadership programs and 45% did not, while mentorship programs were the opposite with 45% having one and 55% not having one. The majority of individuals gave examples of leadership books they recommend. The last question about their organizations promotional process gave mixed answers; see examples below:      

“Each promotion has differed, and I have seen a combination of both. Sometimes individuals were promoted because it was more important to those choosing on “who not to promote”. Other times proper individuals were chooses based on proper qualities.”       (See Appendix A)

“Qualities matter more than time on job. Just because someone is around doesn't make them a good leader.” (See Appendix A)

“No They hire their buddies” (See Appendix A)

 

Discussion

The purpose of this study is to identify the principles and importance of leadership and mentorship for Deerfield Township Fire Rescue. My literature review was structured to understand what leadership training and mentorship is, what advantages are associated with each and finally identifying the best approach for utilizing these principals for the benefit of my own organization.

Through my literature review, the undeniable opinion would suggest that leadership training and mentorship is important for the performance and success of an organization. Craig (2018) speaks to both in a Forbes article by explaining that leadership changes in an organization and every leader influences the changing work culture. He continues by saying this change can go from good to bad or from bad to worse and that leaders must honor those who came before if the organization runs well. He concludes by sharing that change is inevitable and that the employees and leaders all play a part.

The survey helped to understand the opinions of local fire service professionals, as well as some professionals not in the fire service. All the respondents agreed that leadership training is important to their organization, while two of the respondents answered that a mentorship program is not. Utilizing the results of the survey, I found that follow-up questioning was needed, partly because of the lack of responses but also some skipped questions and further clarification. Brown (2020) skipped the question pertaining to the importance of a mentorship program. Follow-up interview revealed his thoughts with his statement “I don’t feel mentorship programs can be forced upon someone, this type of relationship grows over time and you don’t necessarily choose a mentor. It just happens” (Brown, 2020). He further states “if you are going to have a mentorship program, its not truly a mentorship but I understand the reasoning behind them with training new personnel, but call it something else”

Traditional, in the fire service, there is a pecking order. The more time you have on the job, the more seniority you have and the more friends you make seems to dictate how far you can go within an organization. This is not always the case, and no facts will be discovered to confirm this. For Deerfield Township Fire Rescue, the pool of candidates are individuals that have worked for the department for several years, a seniority list would have been established since the beginning of the department , and testing occurs to rank the testing member. Interviews and several other assessments are then completed. In the end of the process, the candidate who scores highest throughout the process is typically the individual who promotes. This is not always the case. Favoritism for certain individuals can occur, and the process weighs heavily on the last interview. A candidate may have all the necessary requirements but may lack the leadership skills to succeed. They may also lack the personality traits that demonstrate excellence or even lack motivation to better themselves and their organization. This cannot be determined by having seniority on a department or having more time on the job than others. Leadership development programs, mentorship, on duty experiences and personality traits should be a consideration when determining the quality of candidates.

Through research it was discovered that DTFR does implement a lot of mentorship type programs, when it comes to the hiring of new personnel. Using the more senior individuals on the department, the new hires are paired with someone who is to lead their new employee packet. This packet is used to assess an individual’s knowledge and teach them how DTFR operates. In a way this is mentorship, but as described above this is more a long the lines of coaching. If that relationship grows into an actual mentorship between the two parties is solely up to the relationship that is developed between them.

It was also learned that individuals may possess different leadership qualities. This can dictate the success of the “new hire” packet. If someone does not possess good leadership qualities, it may show in the performance of the newly hired individual. Having a leadership program that can qualify individuals, based on their personal attributes may be the best for determining who should be placed as a new hires’ “mentor”. This would provide consistency in training and assure the departments best interests are being met.

 

Recommendations

This research paper has allowed me to recognize the differences between mentorship and leadership. Through research of the topic, I also discovered the difference between mentoring and coaching, as well as leadership and management. Both concepts are important to any organization, for the success of the organization. This leaves me to conclude that Deerfield Township Fire Rescue would benefit from more leadership development programs. It also leads me to believe that individuals of the department should take it upon themselves to seek mentorship and build a relationship with someone who can help in their own personal development.

The survey conducted affirms the importance of both topics, not just for the fire service but for any organization. I also learned that you cannot force someone to act as a mentor, nor can you force personality traits that create sound leadership qualities. What you can do is offer classes that allow individuals to develop their qualities and understand what true leadership is. While I believe the best avenue for the success of DTFR would be to develop leadership programs and encourage mentorship, it could be difficult to force these upon its members.

The recommendations for Deerfield Township Fire Rescue, as it relates to leadership programs is as follows:

    1.      Evaluate the leadership qualities of individuals on the department and seek those and develop those individuals to accomplish the goals of the department.

    2.      Educate and develop the current officers within the department to have a greater capacity to act as mentors.

    3.      Require training for new officers that will assist them in develop their leadership and management styles to optimize the success of the department.

 

Reference

Boogaard, K. 8 Common Leadership Styles (and How to Find Yours). Retrieved 9 October 2020,  from https://www.themuse.com/advice/common-leadership-styles-with-pros-and-cons   

Brown, S (2020). Mentorship and Leadership in the Fire Service [In person interview].    

Craig, W. (2018). The Role Leadership Has In Company Culture. Retrieved 9 October 2020,  from https://www.forbes.com/sites/williamcraig/2018/09/05/the-role-leadership-has-in-company-culture/#1fc8b47e16b6

Kruse, K. (2013). What Is Leadership?. Retrieved 7 October 2020, from  https://www.forbes.com/sites/kevinkruse/2013/04/09/what-is-leadership/#124f30495b90

Deerfield Township Fire Rescue. (2018). Deerfield Township Fire Rescue Department Job Description.

FRMS, Fire Records Management System. (ND). [2019 DTFR FIRE/EMS run totals]. Unpublished raw data.

Pinsky, B. (2017). Management Vs. Leadership - Fire Rescue Magazine. Retrieved 8 October      2020, from https://firerescuemagazine.firefighternation.com/2017/11/02/management-vs-leadership/#gref

Rashid, B. (2017). 3 Reasons All Great Leaders Have Mentors (And Mentees). Retrieved 8 October 2020, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/brianrashid/2017/05/02/3-reasons-all-great-leaders-have-mentors-and-mentees/#e71c9b513f9d

 Reh, J. (2019). This Is How a Great Mentor Could Boost Your Career and Life. Retrieved 7  October 2020, from https://www.thebalancecareers.com/a-guide-to-understanding-the-role-of-a-mentor-2275318

U.S. Census Bureau (2018). American Community Survey 5-year estimates. Retrieved from Census Reporter Profile page for Deerfield Township, Warren County, OH http://censusreporter.org/profiles/06000US3916521238-deerfield-township-warren-county-oh/

 

Appendix A

Leadership and Mentorship Survey

Respondent 1

Q1

Does your department provide leadership training?

  • Yes

Q2

Does you department have a mentorship program?

  • Yes

Q3

Are mentorship programs important?

  • Yes

Q4

Why or why not?

It provides for better officers and validates and supports succession planning

Q5

Is leadership training necessary? Why or why not?

Yes It’s secures the future of the org and makes seem less transition if someone is off or worse leaves

Q6

Do you have a mentor?

  • Yes

Q7

How have they influenced you?

Developed me for the next promotion

Q8

Name three qualities of a good leader.

Empathetic, steadfast, life long learner

Q9

What leadership book or training would you recommend?

All of them

Q10

In your opinion, does you department hire on basis of true leadership qualities or experience and time on the job? Explain.

No They hire their buddies

 

Respondent 2

Q1

Does your department provide leadership training?

  • Yes

Q2

Does you department have a mentorship program?

  • Yes

Q3

Are mentorship programs important?

  • Yes

Q4

Why or why not?

They are needed for the growth of the department. We should be training the future folks to take over our positions.

Q5

Is leadership training necessary? Why or why not?

Yes, with a small department it is imperative our folks below us are ready to step up. A simple vacation or sick day can cause someone to move up and they need to be prepared as we are unable to schedule emergencies.

Q6

Do you have a mentor?

  • Yes

Q7

How have they influenced you?

My mentors have influenced my career. They have taught me almost all I know and have lead me into a great path. They were always right beside me when teaching also.

Q8

Name three qualities of a good leader.

Consistent Respectable Fair

Q9

What leadership book or training would you recommend?

Unable to at this time. On the job training from great leaders has been the best for me.

Q10

In your opinion, does you department hire on basis of true leadership qualities or experience and time on the job? Explain.

We hire the best fire/medic that applies. We have one interview and that’s it. If it comes down to it, I would say experience and time on the job.

 

Respondent 3

Q1

Does your department provide leadership training?

  • No

Q2

Does you department have a mentorship program?

  • No

Q3

Are mentorship programs important?

Respondent skipped this question

Q4

Why or why not?

That’s a good question

Q5

Is leadership training necessary? Why or why not?

Absolutely

Q6

Do you have a mentor?

  • Yes

Q7

How have they influenced you?

Decision making, critical thinking, ability to look at the bigger picture

Q8

Name three qualities of a good leader.

Calm, Assertive as needed, Open minded as needed, Ability to take criticism

Q9

What leadership book or training would you recommend?

Extreme Ownership

Q10

In your opinion, does you department hire on basis of true leadership qualities or experience and time on the job? Explain.

Civil service

Respondent 4

Q1

Does your department provide leadership training?

  • Yes

Q2

Does you department have a mentorship program?

  • Yes

Q3

Are mentorship programs important?

  • Yes

Q4

Why or why not?

Seeing what career is like further down gives staying power for things being tough early

Q5

Is leadership training necessary? Why or why not?

Yes. Leaders need to constantly be on the forefront. If a leader isn't leaning and getting better no one else is either. Plus top performance comes from the top, why wouldn't you invest in your leaders?

Q6

Do you have a mentor?

  • Yes

Q7

How have they influenced you?

Foundational thought, friendship, and a sounding board

Q8

Name three qualities of a good leader.

Mental toughness, integrity, desire to improve

Q9

What leadership book or training would you recommend?

Any book by Jason Selk

Q10

In your opinion, does you department hire on basis of true leadership qualities or experience and time on the job? Explain.

Qualities matter more than time on job. Just because someone is around doesn't make them a good leader

 

 

Respondent 5

Q1

Does your department provide leadership training?

  • No

Q2

Does you department have a mentorship program?

  • Yes

Q3

Are mentorship programs important?

  • Yes

Q4

Why or why not?

  • Provide new employees with knowledge on the department and how things are done.

Q5

Is leadership training necessary? Why or why not?

  • Yes, education to the future of the department

Q6

Do you have a mentor?

  • Yes

Q7

How have they influenced you?

  • Yes

Q8

Name three qualities of a good leader.

  • Decisive, confident, honest

Q9

What leadership book or training would you recommend?

  • You tell me

Q10

In your opinion, does you department hire on basis of true leadership qualities or experience and time on the job? Explain.

  • Combination

 

Respondent 6

Q1

Does your department provide leadership training?

  • No

Q2

Does you department have a mentorship program?

  • No

Q3

Are mentorship programs important?

  • Yes

Q4

Why or why not?

  • Gives opportunities to watch and help employees grow. Shows that the department cares about the employee and their future.

Q5

Is leadership training necessary? Why or why not?

Yes. Giving advice and growth to employees. Shows you have a vested interest in them

Q6

Do you have a mentor?

  • No

Q7

How have they influenced you?

Respondent skipped this question

Q8

Name three qualities of a good leader.

Puts others first Develops their people Cares for their people

Q9

What leadership book or training would you recommend?

It’s your ship

Q10

In your opinion, does you department hire on basis of true leadership qualities or experience and time on the job? Explain.

No. Qualifications and passing a test

 

Respondent 7

Q1

Does your department provide leadership training?

  • Yes

Q2

Does you department have a mentorship program?

  • Yes

Q3

Are mentorship programs important?

  • Yes

Q4

Why or why not?

Basic instruction on how to run day to day operations.

Q5

Is leadership training necessary? Why or why not?

Yes. It is impurities for senior leadership to pass knowledge down to subordinates.

Q6

Do you have a mentor?

  • Yes

Q7

How have they influenced you?

Showing what tasks to complete as a supervisor that may not be in S. O. P’s

Q8

Name three qualities of a good leader.

Servant leader, crews integrity first priority, ability to build into crew members.

Q9

What leadership book or training would you recommend?

“Extreme Ownership” by Joko Wilink

Q10

In your opinion, does you department hire on basis of true leadership qualities or experience and time on the job? Explain.

Yes. This is mandatory to qualify for leadership positions.

 

Respondent 8

Q1

Does your department provide leadership training?

  • No

Q2

Does you department have a mentorship program?

  • No

Q3

Are mentorship programs important?

  • Yes

Q4

Why or why not?

Offers the opportunity to share valuable job experience and knowledge with others. Information that cannot be learned from a book and is learned through practical experiences. These can be incident related experiences or leadership based experiences.

Q5

Is leadership training necessary? Why or why not?

Yes. Understanding how a leader functions is imperative to the success of a Fire Department. Not only is leadership training imperative, applying what is learned is just as if not more important. Many times lower level leaders such as company officers are sent to learn vast leadership knowledge, only to be shamed in what was learned because Chief Officers do not practice learned methods.

Q6

Do you have a mentor?

  • No

Q7

How have they influenced you?

N/A

Q8

Name three qualities of a good leader.

Integrity. Trust. Flexibility.

Q9

What leadership book or training would you recommend?

Maxwell’s 21 Irrefutable Leadership Laws is a personal level read that is practical and allows for building leadership traits for a self motivated leader. NFA EFO programs offers structured leadership training as well as the Ohio OFE, however, less intense than the NFA program.

Q10

In your opinion, does you department hire on basis of true leadership qualities or experience and time on the job? Explain.

Each promotion has differed and I have seen a combination of both. Sometimes individuals were promoted because it was more important to those choosing on “who not to promote”. Other times proper individuals were chooses based on proper qualities.

 

Respondent 9

Q1

Does your department provide leadership training?

  • Yes

Q2

Does you department have a mentorship program?

  • No

Q3

Are mentorship programs important?

  • Yes

Q4

Why or why not?

They give guidance to the new and younger generation while engaging the veterans

Q5

Is leadership training necessary? Why or why not?

Yes, We as a service need to lay the foundation for the younger generation and leadership training does this. These new hires will be the future bosses of our departments and we need to provide them with good leadership skills to help them succeed.

Q6

Do you have a mentor?

  • No

Q7

How have they influenced you?

Respondent skipped this question

Q8

Name three qualities of a good leader.

Strong/Good communication, humility, Integrity

Q9

What leadership book or training would you recommend?

Step up and Lead, Its Your Ship, Pride and Ownership, Maxwells 21 Laws of Leadership

Q10

In your opinion, does you department hire on basis of true leadership qualities or experience and time on the job? Explain.

No, we look for qualities in people that have potential to be good leaders, but finding a seasoned leader in the fire service for the positions we are hiring is far and few between. Most of our new hires are right out of school, high school fire program or adult fire program.

 

Respondent 10

Q1

Does your department provide leadership training?

  • Yes

Q2

Does you department have a mentorship program?

  • No

Q3

Are mentorship programs important?

  • No

Q4

Why or why not?

Non existent

Q5

Is leadership training necessary? Why or why not?

Always. A company should be made of leaders.

Q6

Do you have a mentor?

  • No

Q7

How have they influenced you?

N/A

Q8

Name three qualities of a good leader.

Decisiveness, communication, vision

Q9

What leadership book or training would you recommend?

N/A

Q10

In your opinion, does you department hire on basis of true leadership qualities or experience and time on the job? Explain.

Experience and time from what I've seen.

 

Respondent 11

Q1

Does your department provide leadership training?

  • No

Q2

Does you department have a mentorship program?

  • No

Q3

Are mentorship programs important?

  • No

Q4

Why or why not?

N/a

Q5

Is leadership training necessary? Why or why not?

Absolutely. It is part of the professional development process.

Q6

Do you have a mentor?

  • No

Q7

How have they influenced you?

N/a

Q8

Name three qualities of a good leader.

Strong morals Positive attitude Willingness to lead

Q9

What leadership book or training would you recommend?

Extreme ownership Shut up and lead Ask why

Q10

In your opinion, does you department hire on basis of true leadership qualities or experience and time on the job? Explain.

Experience/seniority

 

2019

2018

2017

2016

  • Chief Officer Challenges and Opportunities
  • Performance Improvement Strategy
  • Terrorism Response in Mercer County
  • The Lone Wolf Terrorist

2015

  • Community Paramedicine
  • Small Town Terror Attack
  • Which Smoke Alarm Technology is Recommended

2014

  • Applying the UL Ventilation Study to Modern Firefighting Strategies
  • Community and Paramedicine
  • Proper Drug Security for the Fairborn FD

2013

  • Is Community Paramedicine Feasible for a Public Fire Department?
  • Joint Terrorism Task Force Teams
  • What Happens When Technology Meets Public Safety?

2012

  • Economic Incentives of Residential Sprinklers for Homeowners
  • Improving EMS and Fire Services
  • Theatre Fires
  • Time to Evacuate
  • Petroleum Terminal Vulnerability
  • Prevalence of Off-Duty Smoking Prohibition Policies Among Wisconsin Career Fire Departments

2011

  • The Disaster Next Door
  • Fire Based EMS
  • Improving Public Education in Ontario
  • Post Osama bin Laden World—What Does it Really Mean?
  • Residential Fire Sprinklers
  • Social Media & Internet Usage

2010

  • Arson: A Growing Problem
  • The Charleston Sofa Super Store Tragedy
  • Cost and Benefit Considerations of a Residential Sprinkler Ordinance in Oshkosh, Wisconsin
  • Preparedness for Uncertain Conditions
  • Regionalism for the Fire Service in Cuyahoga County Ohio

2009

  • NIOSH Investigations; What happens after the fact?
  • Firefighter Fitness & Program Implementation
  • The Use of Polygraph in the Fire Service

2008

  • Analytical Approaches to Public Fire Protection
  • Independent Medical Exams of Recruits and Current Firefighters Before Training
  • Is Overtime Creating Dangers for Firefighters and the Public?
  • Managing Our Risk at Fires
  • The Station Nightclub Fire
  • Managing Our Risk at Fires

2007

  • Crossing the Line: Providing Emergency Services in Indiana
  • Firefighter Safety and the Modern Vehicle
  • Fire Fighter Safety During Extreme Hot Weather
  • Improved Prevention of Firefighter Cancer
  • Legal Liability Issues of Standard Operating Procedures
  • Personal Health & Legal Ramifications
  • Personnel Management For The Fire Service
  • Use of Contacts for Corrective Vision by Firefighters
  • Seat Belt Use (Ariza)
  • Smoking Material Fire Problem Illustrated
  • Roadway Safety for Firefighters
  • Water Rescue for America's Firefighters

2006

  • Ohio Residency
  • Standard Operations Guideline on Electrical Safety

Questions?

Contact us at UCFireScience@uc.edu