Public Safety


Executive Summary

Will Rogers World Airport Fire Department is located in Oklahoma County and stands out as one of fire stations in the region. It is mandated with roles such as rapid response to fire incidences and accidents, promotion of awareness campaigns to the surrounding communities of the precautionary measures that they can embrace in dealing with calamities and provision of medical services in its jurisdictions. The company has, however, fall victim to the negative impacts of global financial crisis that has struck various organizations around the country. With the reduction in the funds available in its reserves, Will Rogers World Airport Fire Department has recently found it hard to meet its goals and objectives, and this implies that its ability to efficiently discharge its services has been impaired. The organization has been forced to cut down on its budgetary allocations to various services that it offers to the community at large, and this has further deepened its performance. The decision by the organization has contributed to various negative effects on the community. Some of these impacts include their inability to get urgent attention from the Will Rogers World Airport Fire Department in the event of catastrophes such as fires, accidents or medical help. Apparently, this has ended up leading to an increase in fatalities or casualties in the event of a disaster. The job opportunities that the community enjoyed in the past have been scaled down, with the organization citing financial troubles and the increase in the costs of operations. The decision by the organization to eliminate the community awareness and training programs have left most of the civilians claiming that they may in the future be faced with major calamities and their lack of education on such catastrophes may leave them flat-footed. It is because of the various issues a hand that it is vital for the Will Rogers World Airport Fire Department to come up with a strategic planning process. The aim of the strategic plan will be to ensure that the organization bounces back to its operational efficiency and ability to meets its set goals and objectives. With the reduced funding, it will be instrumental for the organization to make changes to its capital structure that will entail coming up with a new source of financing. Reliance on debts from banks, for instance, will help in boosting the firm’s operations and its ability to discharge services to the community. Additionally, the organization will have to restructure its organizational structure with the aim of maintaining sustainability during the period of financial shortfall. Prioritization of the services to be offered by the fire department will be done depending on factors such as costs, significance, and reliability. Implementation of the changes will be done on a departmental basis, and it will be the role of the managers to ensure that the entire process is a success. Evaluation of the impacts of the impacts of the reforms will be based on feedback from the employees and regular monitoring by the departmental heads.

1.0 Introduction

Public safety is an essential component of any society, and it is the role of the government to ensure that all the civilians are secured. At all the arenas of public life, it is important to implement vital measures to ensure that there is public security and that the health of individuals is assured. Integration of the rapid emergency response units can be essential in dealing with fires, diseases and curtailing of crimes that expose the society to safety risks. After the September 11 attack on the U.S., the concern on public safety has since increased significantly. The department of public safety is mandated with various roles and responsibilities including fire prevention and suppression, disaster and calamities control, crime prevention, animal control and provision of medical care. The department has to have adequate funding failure to which it finds it hard to discharge services to the various communities. In both the long-term and short-term, this may end up leading to an increase in public issues. As member of the public, it is also their role to ensure that they put all precautions in place in the event of warnings on fires, environmental concerns or health issues.

The recent financial crisis has had various devastating effect on the public safety department. Firstly, it has forced it to scale down on its budgets, and this implies that administration of services to the community has also been hindered. The department of public safety has also been faced with issues of inability to meet set goals and objectives. It is thus advisable for the agency to come up with a strategic planning process that will meet safety needs for the people in the community. This paper provides a strategic plan that the Will Rogers World Airport Fire Department will embrace with the aim of convincing the elected officials and the community on its ability to effectively manage services during the period of financial shortfalls.

2.0 Reduced services as a result of financial shortfall

There are various services discharged by the Will Rogers World Airport Fire Department that has negatively been impacted as a result of financial crisis. One of these services that have been impacted is its ability to promote campaign awareness and training to the neighboring communities and those in various other parts of Oklahoma on how to deal with various catastrophes ranging from fires to floods (Will Rogers World Airport Fire Department (in Oklahoma County, OK), 2017). Through training programs, communities are equipped with knowledge on how they can deal with disasters such as fires, earthquakes or fires. With the reduction in the funding, civilians in the fire department’s regions will be faced with various challenges should catastrophe hit. It is hard for the employees from the Will Rogers World Airport Fire Department to move from one community in Oklahoma to the other, training and promoting awareness on the precautionary measures of responding to disasters due to their limited finances.

Another service that has been significantly reduced as a result of the poor financial performance is the fire and rescue services. The Will Rogers World Airport Fire Department, before the financial crisis, had set aside funds that were to be used in the purchase of more than twenty fire engines that were to be used for the enhancement of service delivery in the region. In March, Texas, Oklahoma and Western Kansas were marred with wildfires. The Northwest Oklahoma Complex fires hit Oklahoma hard, and the lack of preparedness of the public safety departments in the region was exposed. A state of emergency was declared by the governor of Oklahoma after the devastating effects of the wildfires. The Will Rogers World Airport Fire Department still struggles with difficulties in rapidly responding to fires that raze a large area, and this is due to its low machinery per population ratio. At the current state, it is hard for the public safety department to effectively deal with huge fires and this means that individuals may end up facing devastating effects (Will Rogers World Airport Fire Department (in Oklahoma County, OK), 2017). Other than fire preventions, the addressing catastrophes such as floods and earthquakes have also been hindered by the budgetary cuts experienced at the Oklahoma department of public safety. In the event of such catastrophes, civilians may face a lot of negative consequences due to the inefficiencies of the emergency response units.

Emergency Medical Services and Ambulance services offered by the Will Rogers World Airport Fire Department have also in the recent past slowed down as a result of the failure by the state government to meet financial obligations. With the financial challenges, the reduction in the funding and budgetary allocation has made it hard for the public safety department to hire more workers in the Emergency Medical Services as well as its ambulatory units and this has affected its ability to rapidly respond to emergencies such as accidents and health conditions. Some communities have ended up experiencing an increase in fatalities due to the lack of emergency medical services, and this has also been witnessed in the event of accidents where the ambulatory teams delay to get to the site on time. Lack of urgent medical attention and sluggishness in the administration of ambulatance services is a significant threat to public safety in any given region. The fire department’s ability to assess hazardous health situations and come up with a quick medical solution has also been impaired significantly. In the event of a breakout of an epidemic, communities neighboring Will Rogers World Airport Fire Department will be negatively impacted due to a lack of adequate and rapid response from the emergency medical division of the public safety department.

3.0 Prioritization of the items

Prioritization of the items was primarily based on their significance to the community member and the funds required for ensuring they meet the civilian’s needs. Provision of fire and disaster control services was given the utmost priority by the Will Rogers World Airport Fire Department, and this is because it stands as its core responsibility. The department’s role in emergency medical response and ambulance services is also considered a critical aspect of the fire department, but it falls under the organization’s quest for dealing with fire incidences in Oklahoma. The item that was least prioritized was the campaign awareness programs aimed at educating the surrounding communities on the precautionary measures that they can embrace to help in dealing with natural calamities and fires.  Regarding costs, a lot of funds have in the past been channeled to dealing with fires and disasters unlike emergency medical services and training programs.

4.0 Impacts on the community as a result of changes in services delivery

The decision by the Will Rogers World Airport Fire Department to cut its budgetary allocation has had a negative effect on its ability to meet full potential. As a result, the community, at large has also been affected in various ways. First and foremost, there has been an increase in complaints from the surrounding communities about the failure by the Will Rogers World Airport Fire Department to rapidly respond to emergency issues ranging from fires to road accidents. In the past, the department was reliable especially when it came to addressing medical issues calling for rapid attention and handling suppression of fires. However, after the financial crisis, a lot of changes have been witnessed, and the department’s reputation has been dragged to the drains. Some of the civilians argue that it takes more than two hours for officers at the fire department to attend to an emergency fire issue. A majority of the community members believe that the organization’s quest to meet its objectives has failed tremendously. In some occasions, they have been forced to rely on the state’s services.

The communities in Oklahoma that were the main beneficiaries of the campaign and awareness programs officiated by the Will Rogers World Airport Fire Department have also been left in the dark especially when it comes to knowledge acquisition. The organization rarely runs the programs and a few of the temporary employees that had been hired to facilitate the entire exercise were fired. Apparently, this implies that the drastic decision by the organization to reduce its budgets has not only hindered community members from knowledge acquisition but has also led to job losses (Will Rogers World Airport Fire Department (in Oklahoma County, OK), 2017). According to the organization’s head, it has since reduced its hiring of new employees citing financial challenges.

The community members are also faced with challenges of the destruction of properties due to the failure by the fire department to respond instantly to their calls. Reported cases of wildfires have on several occasions ended up leading to damages and casualties as a result of the failure by rapid response units such as Will Rogers World Airport Fire Department among others in Oklahoma. Such delays by the fire department, on several occasions, lead to massive losses and casualties. The head of the organization blames the inefficiencies portrayed by the organization to the reduction of state funding brought about by financial crisis. However, civilians are not falling to the narrative and claim that the institution has to come up with strategies that can help it meet their needs.

5.0 Strategic process plan

5.1 Mission and vision to be considered

Will Rogers World Airport Fire Department is an organization founded on efficient service delivery and meeting societal needs. One of its primary missions is ensuring that civilians on the larger part of Oklahoma enjoy public safety. The company’s quest for meeting its missions and goals, has, however, been thwarted by the reduced funding that it gets from the state government. As a result of such occurrences, the institution has found it hard to deliver as expected. In the quest of dealing with the challenges faced by the fire department, it is vital to come up with a strategic planning process that will comprehensively address the issues at hand (Will Rogers World Airport Fire Department (in Oklahoma County, OK), 2017). Regarding the vision to be adopted, the organization will primarily focus on rebuilding its reputation and brand and ensuring that its services are timely and of high quality. Its philosophy has always been to maintain sustainability and serve as a leader in the market.

5.2 Strategic planning

The organization will have to make changes on its capital structures. With the significant reduction in its funding, it will be vital for the Will Rogers World Airport Fire Department to borrow loans from financial institutions with a long-term payback option. Loans are vital because they help in enhancing various operations of a firm that may be stagnating. In this case, with the availability of funds in the form of debts from various banks, the organization will find it easy to purchase more fire engines and ambulances for rapid response (Fire Department Connections, 2015). It will also hire more staff to help in running the training programs aimed at enriching the community with knowledge on calamity-precautionary measures.

The organization will have to come up with a joint program with fire departments in the surrounding region such as Oklahoma City Fire Department whose aim will be to ensure that they work as collaboration in bolstering public safety in Oklahoma at large. As a part of the program, the organizations will also have a joint employee training and skill enhancement forum, and they will also bail out one another in the event of financial challenges (Njelita, 2017). The companies will, however, account for their returns on a separate basis.

It is also essential for the organization to make changes in its organizational culture and structure in such a way that it will be aligned to the new goals and objectives. All the employees in the company, for instance, will have to undergo mandatory fire drills and emergency response exercises on a regular basis and these will be spearheaded by the division’s head. Projections on the company’s finances will be done semi-annually by the accounting and finance team, and this will help in addressing financial shortfall issues currently faced by the organization.

5.3 Implementation of the changes

The first phase of the implementation process will involve informing all the employees on the changes to be made. Departmental managers will play an instrumental role in ensuring that they promote awareness to their staff members about the reforms (Njelita, 2017). All the workers will be required to abide by the changes, and the managers will regularly monitor the workplaces to ensure a smooth transition. All complaints from the staff members regarding changes will be addressed appropriately by the departmental managers.

5.4 Justification of prioritization

Some of the factors that will be considered when prioritizing services will include costs, communal impact and its essence to the organization. Fire prevention and suppression, for instance, is highly prioritized by the institution because it stands out as the core service. However, campaign awareness programs and training are costly and less instrumental to the organization, and this implies that the service can easily be eliminated or lowly prioritized.

6.0 Conclusion

Will Rogers World Airport Fire Department, based on the above information, is an organization that can emerge out of the current financial situation stronger. Implementation of measures such as reliance on loans from recognizable financial institutions, changes in its organizational structure and joint partnership programs can help it enhance its service delivery.