Sandy Fire District needs residents help

A citizen forum will assist the department in forming a strategic plan for 3-5 years

Every few years it is prudent for an organization to step back and take a look at its operation - just to be sure it is serving its mission properly.

But a public service organization cannot look at itself as objectively as necessary unless the public it serves offers its collective and individual opinions.

The Sandy Fire and Rescue District is extending an invitation to participate in developing a long-range plan for the next three to five years.

The strategic plan is the department's way of developing goals for district operations.

Help given by local residents will guide the efforts of the firefighters and medical technicians on behalf of the public they serve.

'Your participation in the process will be invaluable to its success,' said Fire Chief Gary McQueen. 'This will be a facilitated forum where we hope to learn, in detail, the priorities and expectations of our community regarding fire and emergency services. Your perspective is vitally important.'

A two-hour forum is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 5, at the fire district's annex building, across Bruns Avenue from the fire department.

This process will help the fire district establish guiding principles and a vision for the future as well as determine future service levels and establish goals related to the department's mission.

The strategic planning process will be facilitated by Emergency Services Consulting International, with headquarters in Wilsonville.

ESCI has conducted several types of planning and consulting services for more than 600 emergency and public service agencies across the United States since 1976.

During the forum, the ESCI facilitator will explore the following topics:

Community priorities - Of the services provided by the fire department, which are more or less important?

Expectations - What do you expect of your fire department?  This would include such things as level of service, type of service, behavior of fire department personnel and more.

Concerns - What concerns do you have about the department, the services it delivers or the way in which it delivers them?

Positives - What do you think the department does particularly well?

Other thoughts - What other ideas do you have to share with the department as it begins its long-range planning effort?

The format of the forum will involve some writing from participants. The facilitator will encourage discussion to understand participants' views better.

Anyone who has ideas to share with the department through a facilitator should confirm attendance at the forum as soon as possible by calling 503-668-8093.