GRFD's strategic plan focuses on community needs and risk reduction

Published on March 06, 2018

.jpg photo of the GRFD Strategic Plan Cover

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Grand Rapids Fire Chief John Lehman presented the department’s three-year strategic plan to the City Commission on Tuesday following a series of workshops and surveys with community stakeholders and department employees. The Fire Department’s strategic plan for Fiscal Years 2019-21 focuses on the department’s four pillars that support response. Those pillars are training, prevention, wellness and support services. The Strategic planning meetings designed, clear and achievable objectives to benchmark performance.

The Fire Department’s Planning Division led the strategic planning process, which also included work sessions with businesses and residents that helped the department better understand the community’s needs. Department personnel then met to refine the plan.

“We are proud of the work our internal and external participants had in creating this plan,” Chief Lehman said. “They have helped us craft a living plan that provides a means of continuous improvement. Scheduled evaluations of progress will demonstrate our success and identify areas that need attention.”

The plan details objectives for providing appropriate education to all members of the department and strives to create a safer community by initiating an effective community risk reduction program and community risk assessment.

Three goals of the Community Risk Reduction (CCR) plan include:

  • Identifying gaps in current risk reduction efforts
  • Gathering data on gaps for areas of concern, and
  • Communicating community risks to stakeholders and gathering feedback


Chief Lehman said the department will use data to measure effectiveness. Over the three-year plan, the department has identified nine objectives and will perform 19 tasks to ensure the success of the CCR program. The CCR plan is one of five plans that have been approved by this team. The Fire Department will also enact specific operational plans in the areas of training, wellness, response and support services. The later plan includes the community’s desire to expand the department’s diverse hiring efforts.

The strategic planning process also includes refined department mission and vision statements that assist in the department’s daily decision-making. The statements include:

Mission – The Grand Rapids Fire Department values people by saving lives, protecting property, and responding to the needs of our community.

Vision – Providing world class fire services for our community by employing a diverse workforce that respects, values and develops our members.

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