The Grand Rapids Fire Department is implementing a new and improved vision and mission statement for the next years.

Commanders have created a four-pillar system to reach the community's and their department's needs.

Training, prevention and wellness and support are the four key strategies that will set the direction and goals for the next three years. Each pillar has its own specific owners and teams.

They began with an internal survey in which more than half of the department participated. The department sought outside help from Meijer corporate in wording the questions appropriately.

The fire department then contacted multiple outside agencies like AMR, Life EMS, and the water department, as well as businesses in the private sector, in which they asked where they're succeeding, and what areas need some adjustment.

Finally, they asked the community, neighborhood, business associations and community organizations with similar questions before hosting their own day-long workshop.

"This organization, the Grand Rapids Fire Department is leading in the state of Michigan, developing best practices for what we should be doing," said Grand Rapids Fire Chief John Lehman.

"It's nothing that I'm seeing in many other areas of the United States. We are definitely at the top of our game and we are doing it because we have the engagement of the whole organization but also because we are using data and analytics and planning to really drive the organization."

The Fire Chief said his department is actually leading many other city departments by establishing an alternative way to approach goals and future plans and have committed to helping other departments in doing so.

This is the third strategic plan the department has created over the years. In the current plan established in 2015, the fire department accomplished 57 percent of the tasks in that plan and 23 percent are in process.

Kalamazoo Public Safety was a part of the GRFD workshops and will also move forward with a similar plan.

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