Friday Nov 20 2009
Auburn City Fire staff tackle more, upgrade skills
By: Mark D’Ambrogi Auburn fire chief
As one of our local well known columnists puts it, “glancing through the notebook.” I, too, was “glancing,” but through my note pad. It seems that it has been a couple of years since I have last updated the community on the status of the Auburn City Fire Department. In addition, this is my eighth year as fire chief. Where has the time gone? We spend so much time looking ahead, especially these days, that we forget to reflect on where we have been and what we have accomplished. There is no question that times right now are challenging, but with such challenges come opportunities. The Auburn City Fire Department encounters challenges but more importantly, identifies and focuses on the opportunities to deliver a high level of service to you, our customers. This past year the Auburn City Fire Department implemented a “Strategic Re-organization Plan” of which often prompts the question, what is a “Strategic Re-organization Plan”? Simply put, it’s a document that identifies our mission, goals, objectives, what we do, programs and services. The “strategic” part is the who and the how we are going to do it. If you notice I use the words “our” and “we” when referring to the plan, this is because it is a collaborated organization plan involving all members of the fire department. After the plan was developed, it was presented to City Council for review, comment and approval. City Council approved the plan, which helps establish a foundation upon which we can grow and build in future service delivery. Fire department personnel continue to assume additional roles and responsibilities, which brings added training and experience, resulting in very high services levels for the community. There is no doubt the demand for services increased and continues to do so but at the same time, professionalism and service levels by the department also increase. Although these challenging times may place limitations on resources, rest assured, service levels will not be compromised. I am extremely proud and fortunate to have the opportunity to be part of the leadership in this organization. As far as the members of the fire department, we have an excellent cadre of full-time fire personnel. In addition to their regular duties, many commit time in other areas that benefit the community, like instructing the fire academy, supporting the ROP program, participating in the Arson Investigation Task Force, Safe Kids Placer County, Christmas Basket Program and local school programs. Our volunteer firefighter program has seen an increase in numbers over this past year with individuals truly giving of their time to enhance and support the services provided by the fire department. Due to extensive training mandates and requirements, it is a real commitment for any individual to participate in the volunteer firefighter program. We are fortunate to have such individuals in our program. Although the fire department continues the transition from an all “volunteer” fire department to full-time paid personnel, there will always be the need to support our organization with a cadre of volunteer firefighting personnel. This combined approach to service delivery, I believe, offers a very high and efficient level of service to all those we serve. So, what has happened in the last couple years? Quite a bit. This has been a small overview of looking back and moving forward. I can assure you, Auburn City receives a high level of service from its fire department and we will continue to develop ways to improve our services. Our personnel commitment and dedication is second to none. Remember, we are a resource for you. Mark D’Ambrogi is fire chief for the city of Auburn.