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Plenty of blame to pass around, Smith says
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There is plenty of blame to go around for the current state of McMinnville Fire Department, according to Alderman Ken Smith A survey conducted by the Municipal Technical Advisory Service of the department offered 38 recommendations in a 40-page assessment for changes within the department that reach all the way to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen.“I think we need to look at all these recommendations, which could take several years,” Smith said. “There are recommendations for the chief, the firemen and the board. All three of us are to blame.”The lengthy recommendations were condensed into the following list:• Create a strategic plan for providing and improving community fire and emergency services protection.• Enroll the fire chief and the command staff in a formal leadership development program.• Create a vision statement.• Fire department staff should complete refresher training.• Adopt a standard operating procedure within the department.• The department should use the fire ground response policy on all incidents regardless of size.• The fire chief should establish weekly staff meetings.• Fill the assistant fire chief position.• Develop a strategic plan that contains objects and outcome-based performance.• The fire chief should prepare a detailed weekly report.• Establish a workforce development and succession plan.• Establish a formal officer development and training program.• Establish as a job requirement that fire officers obtain a level of certification through the Tennessee Fire Commission commensurate with their position.• Adopt a plan to provide an effective firefighting response of 16 personnel to a structure fire within eight minutes travel time on 90 percent of all incidents.• Complete a community risk assessment and establish a standard of cover for each identified risk.• Review current response assignments.• Appoint a committee to draft a comprehensive standard operating procedures manual.• Once the new policies are in place, fire personnel should have training on the policies.• Appoint a committee to review the standard operating procedures manual on an annual basis.• Review the city’s compensation plan annually, and consider a comprehensive career development program.• Staff the aerial ladder platform with sufficient personnel to respond and operate the truck effectively on structure fires.• Inventory each fire apparatus.• Establish an apparatus replacement program.• Buy a new engine seven and sell of the current one.

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