Table of Contents
Fire and emergency service department is a crucial entity in the United States. This is the unit that is charged with the responsibility of ensuring safety of people and property in case of emergency such as fire outbreak and other related disasters. Similar to other significant state departments, fire and emergency services are faced with a myriad of challenges that usually curtail the full realization of the set goals. Among these challenges, there is the problem of lack of funding. It is factual that running the fire and emergency services is an involving task. This activity is especially complicated when the fiscal resources are meager. Depending on the magnitude of an emergency, the response has to be up to date. This means that the facilities and the implements being used should be in the good state to enable expeditious response to emergency. Ostensibly, the cost and maintenance of fire implements is exorbitant while in reality, numerous services lack funding. In addition, the fire emergency service’s personnel also require specialized training to equip them with techniques of handling emergencies of various magnitudes with utmost diligence. All these prerequisites demand adequate funding from the state and federal government as well as from other monetary institutions for smooth running of the affairs and expansion. Combating fire emergencies requires swift response and adequate funding. To attain this, emergency services administrators must craft mechanisms and cultivate an environment, through which organizations must coordinate and execute emergency response moves seamlessly.
It is clear that the society needs the fire and emergency services even if the means of funding have hitherto continued to decrease since the dawn of the world economic crisis (Federal Emergency Management Agency, 2012). Nonetheless, the administrators can devise mechanisms to ensure the sustenance of these crucial services by operating within the available means and with the available resources. To cut down extra expenditure, all the fire and emergency services departments must strive to spend the available fiscal resources in a discrete manner. This may entail sacrificing the unnecessary expenditure and giving first priority only to areas of expenditure those that are more significant. Sometimes fire and emergency services’ budgets are inflated by unnecessary vote heads, which the organization can still do, without even under stringent circumstances (International Association of Fire Chiefs. & National Fire Protection Association, 2012). For instance, it is of no use to purchase new implements each financial year even when the current implements may still be in good condition. Such arrangements can be spared until particular implements would have been worn out and perhaps require replacement.
Along with this, the administrators should adopt the principle of economies of scale in their fire and emergency service departments. This refers to the process of reducing the unit cost achieved by increasing the amount of production in each department. According to this principle, each department will work round the clock to augment the output so that the organization can accrue enough resources to enable it operate on its own, without requiring to be funded by external monetary agencies (Federal Emergency Management Agency, 2012). It will also enhance efficiency due to the quality that will minimize wastages in each department.
Finally, the administrators will need to factor the aspect of multitasking in each department of fire and emergency services. This is the arrangement, in which the personnel that are hired in a department are orientated to handle more than one particular task. By so doing, the organization will also be able to decrease the wage bill and, therefore, save a significant amount of funds to be directed into other sectors. In most cases, the wage bill is the section of budget that normally inflates the organization’s expenditure because of its recurrence every month. Therefore, it will be wise if the management can address this as a way of minimizing the cost of production and optimizing the outcome by making maximum utilization of the available human resource (International Association of Fire Chiefs, 2014).
Strategic and Master Planning
Another mechanism of ensuring smooth progress of the organizational programs of fire and emergency services is to commence the on-job-training program. It is normally rather costly to take the personnel through a fresher course at the expense of the organization’s duties. Such arrangements usually warrant recruitment of part time employees to stand in place of those other employees undergoing training in a particular area. This also inflates the organization’s expenditures because the newly recruited part time workers will require to be remunerated and entitled to a number of allowances as well for as long as their services will be required in the organization. To circumvent this extra expense during this time of deficit, the fire and emergency services administrator (FSA) of today and tomorrow can initiate the program, which allows the regular employees to undergo training while performing their usual official duties (Federal Emergency Management Agency, 2012). The arrangement also averts unnecessary turbulences that would arise from taking over exercises as the employees pave ways for others. In addition to this, it cuts down on the extra expenses of purchasing implements that are required for that particular training because the organization’s facilities will be used instead. In such a way, the money that would have been required to effect training programs away from job can be diverted to needful areas to augment production.
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In a similar vein, the fire and emergency services administrator (FSA) of today and tomorrow should also strategize to instigate the fire and emergency mitigation programs. These programs should aim at sensitizing the public about different ways of mitigating fire emergencies as well as on ways of handling such emergencies in their midst, even without the expertise on site. This kind of awareness is very significant because it will equip the public with relevant tips on how to combat fire outbreaks as well as detect the imminence of such incidents. It is the process of being proactive in the fire and emergency services management other than being reactive upon the occurrences of the emergency. If this can be done consistently, in the long run, the fire and emergency services administrator (FSA) of today and tomorrow will be sensationalized on the amount of funds their organizations would have saved in a short spell of time.
Project Plan Management
Since the organization will be requiring more funds to perform its day to day activities, the fire and emergency services administrator (FSA) of today and tomorrow will need to diversify the means of getting income. This means that the administrators will need to think about establishing other auxiliary projects, with the aim of augmenting means of income generation. Some of these diversified projects may entail rendering training services to private firms at a cost, being involved in snow thawing practice of the infrastructures during winter, among others. Engaging in such projects other than merely waiting for the occurrence of emergency can be of great benefit to the organization because it will increase chances of earning extra income for the progress and simplify the operation running of the fire and emergency services in the country.
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Similarly, the administrators of fire and emergency services of today and tomorrow should also consider the option of merging their services with other emergency response organizations. The amalgamation can be very important because it enables the merged organizations to share the cost of certain significant operations that would have otherwise been very cumbersome to the fire and emergency services organization alone. By so doing, the organization will be able to save a considerable amount of money to divert to other crucial sectors of the organization.
Resource Allocation and Management
Another significant aspect that fire and emergency services administrator (FSA) of today and tomorrow should consider is the issue of maintenance of the available facilities (Smeby, 2006). Maintenance refers to continuous repair works in the organization. It is the work done regularly to keep the machinery, buildings or piece of equipment in a good condition and proper working order. This practice is very important not only for increasing productivity by those implements but also for saving extra money that would have been required for the purchase of new implements. When facilities lack maintenance, some of them get worn out faster than it would have been expected by the manufacturer (Goodson, Murnane & International Fire Service Training Association, 2008). Furthermore, those facilities that are poorly maintained are usually problematic to work with as none of them can produce the expected results. Therefore, continued use of unmaintained machinery only leads to fatigue, waste of time and depletion of fiscal as well as human resources. The administrators of fire and emergency services should train their staff to be vigilant, with the use of different implements of fire and emergency services so that all of them can last the period sufficient enough to have ploughed back several profits for the organization. By so doing, the administrators will realize that huge sums of money that would have been required to replenish the organizational facilities as often as possible are saved for other projects. The reason for this is the fact that proper maintenance would have ensured longevity of the machinery and other significant implements such as fire extinguishers and fire engines.
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One more form of maintenance also touches the human resource. The administrators of fire and emergency services will be obliged to maintain the experienced staff for a longer time to avert the tendency of high turn-over of staff in the organization. Frequent recruitment and laying-off of staff comes with a number of repercussions. The most conspicuous one is the slowed productivity that ensues in the orientation of new staff members. The taking over and handing over exercise usually causes disturbances in the organization for it may take unnecessarily long for the new employees to get attuned to the working conditions. These kinds of delays and damages cost the organization hefty amounts of money, which could have been channeled to other vital projects (Goodson, Murnane & International Fire Service Training Association, 2008). In addition, the outgoing staff usually require remuneration including the gratuity and corresponding compensations as would have been stipulated in the terms and conditions of services. Therefore, it is inconvenient for the organization to have high turnover of staff because much money will have to be set aside specifically for these changes.
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There is another aspect to be particular about in regard to the resource management and allocation, which is the prioritization. This is the act of ranking projects or necessities according to importance or urgency while making the budget for the organization (Smeby, 2006). The fire and emergency services administrator (FSA) of today and tomorrow should take keen steps while making plans that involve finance for the organization. Certain projects, which may be relevant to the organization but not necessary, will have to be put at bay until the moment when the administrators will deem necessary to instigate them (Fleming, 2009). Those that are good but may require more funds than available will be discarded in totality. This kind of planning is what can ensure that the organization operates in a discrete and economical way and right within its financial capability. It will also evade tendencies of straining and resorting to debts to make ends meet. Operating on debts has never been healthy for any organization that has vibrant projects to implement. For fast growth towards its set goals, the administrators should make sure that all operations are done within the available funds, without inflating the budget.
Finally, the fire and emergency services administrator (FSA) of today and tomorrow can also devise means of recycling and using of locally available materials. This will entail the art of making of carbonated foam within the organizations premises, without having to rely on industrial carbonated foam for fire extinguishers (Smeby, 2006). The recycling of certain materials will also lower the cost of production in contrast to buying new raw materials. These are significant processes that would ensure that organization minimizes n the cost of operations as well as maximizes the output.
The fire and emergency services are indispensable, and the contemporary society cannot afford to jeopardize the existence of the services on grounds of insufficient funding from relevant financial agencies. For this reason, the fire and emergency services administrator (FSA) of today and tomorrow can take initiatives to navigate the challenge by adopting ways of generating funds and or minimizing spending of the existing funds. This will allow the organizations to progress well by ensuring proper standards of services to the general public. Along with that, the initiative to mobilize the entire pubic through media channels and to mitigate the prevalence of fire emergencies can be the best mechanism because it will minimize on the frequencies of such emergencies. This will also ensure that the public recognizes the fact that fire and emergency safety is a collective responsibility. Therefore, this responsibility should be practiced right from homes and work places even before the fire fighters perform their direct duties. If people can be empowered to manage small fire emergencies at the places of work as well as in individual residences, the fire and emergency services administrators (FSA) of today and tomorrow will be able to run other significant services and programs due to the sufficient funding. This will eventually help stabilize the financial status of the organization and bridge the gap that would have been created by lack of funding.