“Our Vision is a happy, healthy and safe state of Tennessee, with a state fire chiefs association made up of every fire chief and chief fire officer in the state as a contributor.”
“To provide leadership to career and volunteer chiefs, chief fire officers and managers of Emergency Service Organizations throughout the State of Tennessee through vision, information, education, service and representation to enhance their professionalism and capabilities.”
A lot of great leaders have retired and a lot of new leaders emerge to leave a legacy of their own. The means to transition and continuous leadership exists as the Tennessee Fire Chiefs Association. As a result of action by strong leaders with clear visions and well laid plans. It’s no wonder Tennessee has one of the lowest per capita fire death and injury rates. It’s no wonder Tennessee is one of the safest states to be a firefighter because of training and supervision. It’s no accident that the Association is fiscally sound and has never failed to fulfill its mission.
The above paragraph is what we desire they comment about us in 2020 Too often strategic plans are drafted out of obligation and more often adopted with little initiative to ensure enthusiastic implementation. That’s why we, leaders within the Tennessee Fire Chiefs Association, are going to ensure those negatives are never reality. We as leaders have created this plan and will ensure that first paragraph is reality because we will truly affirm to “Never Forget,” never forget why we serve everyday. We usually say we will “Never Forget” when tragedy strikes, well, we often forget until reminded. We are not going to forget to serve! We are not going to forget to lead. We are not going to forget to achieve our vision! We are not going to forget to fulfill our mission!
As the TFCA, we have an organization established to ensure continual leadership focused on enhancing those who presently serve and those who will follow. Let us utilize our desire to serve the citizens and firefighters in this great state to implement this strategic plan and continually improve upon it. The continual improvement of our organization will ensure a happier, healthier, and safer Tennessee. This plan is only a small portion of ensuring such a lofty vision is achieved, however, it’s an important part that should give direction those who follow us.
Tennessee loses an average of 100 lives per year to fire and millions of dollars in property. We also sacrificed millions of dollars in insurance premiums annually because more than half of the 732 fire departments in our state operate with an ISO rating of 8 or worse. The firefighters who serve our state, 70% of which are volunteer, do so at increased risk because only 16% of the fire departments in our state have all their personnel trained.
The Tennessee Fire Chiefs Association is committed to changing this current reality by reaching for our vision and fulfilling our mission. While there are many negative statistics in our current reality, we will accentuate the positives and look forward to the solutions that solve problems and the leadership that implements the opportunities. The current lack of focus on the issues will be altered in the future as organizations and agencies focus on the health, safety, and general welfare of the citizens of this great state. The future is what we make it, let it be bright and pleasing to everyone.
The formulation and completion of this strategic plan was thanks to the leadership of the Tennessee Fire Chiefs Association and many of its dedicated members. This document is intended to provide guidance to those who follow, yet will also lead. The Strategic Plan of the Tennessee Fire Chiefs Association should make reality the future we envision through the goals and objectives outlined herein.
The Strategic Plan of the Tennessee Fire Chiefs Association sets a vision, moves us toward fulfilling our mission by stating the fundamental principles of the organization and setting goals and objectives to achieve a better future. This document must become the cornerstone of information for the decisions made as an organization. Implementation is vital to success as is evaluation and continual enhancement. As the vision becomes ever so clear to the members, the path toward it shall be well laid herein.
The Tennessee Fire Chiefs Association (TFCA) supports, promotes, and develops Chief Officers in the state and furthers the interests of prevention, control, and mitigation of fire, life safety, and all hazards in our region.
The TFCA values:
• Honesty and integrity
• Ethical behavior
• Timely and responsive service
The TFCA promotes:
• Safe communities
• Firefighter safety
• An “all hazards” approach to prevention, control and mitigation of incidents
• Officer development
• Legislation and legislators that supports our doctrine
• Adequate funding to deliver our principles
• Strategic planning
• The development and adoption of standards of cover documents
The TFCA will:
• Build and maintain relationship with our members, our state associations, the IAFC, and other partner organizations; the TFCA will actively foster communication to enhance these relationships.
• Support its members through the delivery of quality member services.
• Remain focused on enhancing the financial strength of the association.
• Endorse, support, and foster legislative and policy development initiatives that will enhance the fire service and advance firefighter, citizen, and community safety.
• Will endorse programs that foster and promote quality improvement and professional development for fire service professionals and agencies.
• Will seek and utilize fire service leaders who will professionally and enthusiastically advance the mission, goals and objectives of our organization.
The TFCA is expected to:
• Produce and promulgate biennial strategic plans consistent with the doctrine
• Produce and disseminate public annual reports to the membership
• Maintain a financial position of solvency
• Maintain functional bylaws
• Promote membership
• Promote legislation consistent to our Mission and the Fire Service Coalitions Mission
• Promote the success of our members
• Properly advise its board, staff, appointees and representatives, and all other appropriate relationships on issues of adopted principles and doctrine, bylaws and policies, and best practices
• Develop, promulgate, and maintain quality, timely, and relevant communications
The following goals will be pursued by the Tennessee Fire Chiefs Association....
1. Partner in leading the fire, rescue and emergency services within Tennessee.
2. Assist in ensuring a unified voice for all fire, rescue and emergency service leaders.
3. Enhance and expand government relations initiatives and influence.
4. Advance fire officers and chief fire officer expertise.
5. Develop the fire service as a critical partner in our state and federal government.
6. Expand the membership of the association to be more inclusive.
7. Develop, lead and cooperate in public and firefighter life safety initiatives.
8. Continue to insure that the association has adequate financial resources.
Partner in leading the fire, rescue and emergency services within Tennessee.
1. Leading the fire, rescue and emergency services within Tennessee.
1.1 Build relationships and partnerships that will fulfill the mission of the Tennessee Fire Chiefs Association.
1.1.1 Strengthen the relationship with the Fire Coalition to promote closer working relationships with the partners.
1.1.2 Work closer with TML and County Services associations so that a higher level of trust exists between the Boards and Staff.
1.1.3 Develop a more decentralized but unified relationship with the state and regional fire chiefs groups.
1.2 Develop and strengthen the committee structure within the Association so that tasks and assignments meet deadlines.
1.2.1 Review the committee structure to determine most efficient make-up and size of committees.
1.2.2 Committee makeup should carefully avoid overlapping subject jurisdictions.
1.2.3 Committees should report to the Board at Board meetings and should recommend detailed action to be taken.
1.3 Establish a formal program to communicate the Association position on various topics.
1.3.1 Develop a vision statement for the Association and post it on the association website and in all printed materials.
1.3.2 Expand the legislative position chart on the website to include a “white paper” on each topic with the pros and cons and the reason the Association took the position that it did.
Assist in ensuring a unified voice for all fire, rescue and emergency service leaders.
2. Ensure a unified voice for all fire, rescue and emergency service leaders.
2.1 Continue the current quality of the Association website and make continuing improvement.
2.1.1 Publicize the website so that all interested persons may know the position of the Association.
2.1.2 Make the website be the “first place to look” for Tennessee fire service information and events.
2.2 Establish a Speakers Bank of trained individual members who can talk about the Association when invited to speak at any group or other association function.
2.2.1 Develop “canned” material for the Speakers.
2.2.2 Provide speech training for the members.
2.3 Develop an electronic newsletter for the Association.
2.3.1 Only members would be able to download the newsletter from the website.
2.3.2 Partner with the TN Firemans Association on news stories and cross promote each publication.
2.3.3 Establish Google groups as a means of communications for members and especially committees.
2.4 Activate Social Media sites for members
2.4.1 Establish a presence on Facebook and Twitter to allow members to communicate and to distribute information about the Association to those members who utilize the technology.
Enhance and expand government relations initiatives and influence.
3. Enhance and expand government relations initiatives and influence.
3.1 Make sure that the Association is an active participant in the Fire Coalition.
3.1.1. Consider always being the major partner in the cost of the government relations program.
• Ensure the Tennessee Fire Chiefs Association provides annual funding.
3.1.2. Provide members of the General Assembly with a token item with the name and logo of the association on it.
3.1.3. Appoint open-minded representatives to the governing body of the Fire Coalition.
• Prior to the annual meeting of the Association, the Legislative Committee will recommend 3 Association reps to the Tennessee Fire Service Coalition.
3.1.4 Encourage every fire chief to give to the FLAG PAC.
3.2 Develop a contact list of fire chiefs that can and will contact their elected representatives on fire service issues.
• Utilize the membership roster and Fire Department Day on the Hill list.
3.3 Provide a separate talking points bulletin on every piece of legislation so the local fire chief and review it and personally hand it to their elected representative when needed.
3.4 Continue and expand “Fire Service Day on the Hill.”
Advance fire officer and chief fire officer expertise.
4. Advance Fire officers and chief fire officer expertise.
4.1 Provide training at all meetings of the Association.
4.1.1 Improve the quality of the material and presentation.
4.1.2. Take attendance during the training session.
• Create sign-in sheets or training forums
• Report attendance to the Fire Commission.
• Publish attendance on the website.
4.1.3 Continue to provide funding.
4.2 Develop stronger relationships with all training organizations.
4.2.1 Invite different organizations to provide training. Use MTAS, CTAS, Tennessee Fire and Codes Academy, Training Officers from fire departments, ISO, major insurance
companies, and other associations.
4.2.2 Provide Human Resource trainers and programs that will enhance safety and health of firefighters.
4.3 Balance training to ensure an adequate amount of concentration on tactical training management and strategic training, leadership, and all disciplines fulfilling our mission.
4.4 Educate Fire Chiefs on the role of code adoption at state and local level and encourage more emphasis on fire prevention.
Develop the fire service as a critical partner in State & Federal Agencies.
5. Develop the Fire Service as a critical partner in State & Federal Agencies.
An example of these agencies may include but is certainly not limited to:
• Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA)
• Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
• National Guard
• Coast Guard
• Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) & Alcohol Tobacco & Firearms (ATF)
• Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP)
• Tennessee Bureau of Investigations (TBI)
• Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency (TWRA)
5.1 Ensure the Fire Service is a leader in the All-hazard approach to Community Risk Reduction.
5.1.1 Redefine the fire service as an agency that is involved in prevention, preparedness, response, mitigation, recovery, critical infrastructure protection.
5.1.2 Build relationships with staff at the county, state, and district level.
5.1.3 Insure that fire chiefs understand the needs of citizens and our members and how to match our resources to provide for those needs.
5.2 Promote the Associations Mutual Aid system.
5.3 Continue to be a number one supporter of NIMS.
Expand the membership of the Association to be more inclusive.
6. Expand the membership of the Association to be more inclusive.
6.1 Grow membership of the Association within the Fire Service.
6.1.1 Establish a “department” membership where all officers may be included for a fixed price.
6.1.2 Continue to give a free first year membership to all new Fire Chiefs.
6.1.3 Give the new member a large certificate with a date on it so that they have to re-join to get a decal that goes over the date.
6.1.4 Make a big deal out of presenting the new membership certificate.
6.2 Grow membership outside the fire service.
6.2.1 Expand membership to County Emergency Management Directors, Homeland Security District Staff and members of state agencies dealing with fire protection.
6.2.2 Expand membership to EMS Directors from non fire service related agencies.
6.3 Increase the value of being a member of the Association.
6.3.1 Define and outline the benefits of being a member.
6.3.2 Have a “members only” section of the website and provide resources that would make someone want to get to that information.
6.3.3 Pass out membership brochures at every fire service event such as TFA conference, Smoky Mountain Weekend, and other such places.
6.3.4 Take surveys of the current members to see why they belong to the organization.
6.4 Provide some real financial benefits to members.
6.4.1 Develop discount cards with corporate sponsors for members.
6.4.2 Provide some type of insurance to members such as cancer, accidental death, or other.
6.4.3 Give really meaningful prizes for membership recruitment in each grand division of the state such as a laptop computer, flat screen TV, or other such gifts that belong to
the member but are the personal development.
6.5 Communicate the benefit of being a member that is about what you give not what you get.
6.5.1 Express benefits that aren’t monetary or directly tangible, such as:
• Strength in numbers
• Profession Association Value
• Communication and Change within and to the industry
• Valued return because of valued investment (you get out what you put in)
Develop, lead and cooperate in public and firefighter life safety initiatives.
7. Develop, lead and cooperate in public and firefighter life safety initiatives.
7.1 Improve the statewide code, which should involve the inclusion of sprinklers in all new one and two family homes.
7.2 Seek grant funding to do a state-wide promotion of firefighter safety initiatives.
7.2.1 Educate elected officials on firefighter risks and vulnerability as related to older vehicles, inadequate staffing and lack of proper training.
7.2.2 Develop a model driving/vehicle operations class to reduce the number of firefighters killed and injured in vehicle accidents.
7.3 Encourage the State Fire Marshal to analyze fire data now that it is being collected.
7.3.1 Determine where to concentrate fire prevention activities and public fire safety education. Stop shot-gunning the problem and take aim with data analysis.
7.3.2 Work with the State Fire Marshal to make sure that all fire fatalities are fully investigated.
Continue to insure that the Association has adequate financial resources.
8.Continue to insure that the Association has adequate financial resources.
8.1 Maximize dues revenue
8.1.1 Expand membership (see goal #6)
8.1.2 Send every Fire Chief a letter and invoice annually
8.2 Seek grant funding
8.2.1 Apply for AFG or Fire Prevention grants from USFA.
8.2.2 Seek corporate grants
8.2.3 Establish a trust fund and encourage fire chiefs to leave the Association money in their wills or estate planning.
8.3 Develop corporate partners
8.3.1 The Association has endorsed ISO….is that worth an annual contribution from them?
8.3.2 Partner with Wal-Mart or Dollar General for funds if we hold events in their parking lot to attract a crowd.
8.4 Seek State dollars
8.4.1 If we do your annual survey of fire departments, how much will you pay us?
8.4.2 Include money and or grants in the state’s annual budget.