While having a conversation with some veteran Fire Officer’s, the topic of effective communications came up. I often ponder what folks with these fancy degrees, who take a host of speech and communications classes really take away from them. The worst thing that I see administrations do is leave a firefighter’s mind to wonder and guess what is going on. This even applies for the Company Officer. When you get information share it. If it is not a personal issue or personnel matter why are we making information top secret. I do understand that everyone in the fire department does not care to know, but there are many that do. If you are the administrator for the fire department it is imperative if you want your mission to be complete you communicate it to your members. Ensure that they understand in which direction you wanna go in and clear up any misunderstandings. Notice I did not sat they had to agree with it, just understand it and get on board. Most time you will find that if you communicate the information in a logical fashion it will be received very well even if it’s not agreed upon. Communication like I’m speaking of also gains your members trust, and they need to be able to trust that you are looking out for the best interest. So how do we get the information out.
- Monthly newsletter
- Fire Dept Blog site or web based media
- Regular and Special departmental meetings
These are just a few suggestions I’m sure more will be added. What you will find when you control the informational flow things will run a lot smoother. If you look at successful administrations, and company officers they are the one’s who’s member’s are informed, but they are still the one’s controlling the flow.