Fire Department Strategic Planning: Creating Future Excellence, 3rd Edition

Mark Wallace
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Fire Department Strategic Planning: Creating Future Excellence, 3rd Edition

By Mark Wallace, Chief (Ret.), McKinney (TX) Fire Dept., Fire Marshal, State of Oregon

The first edition was published in 1998 and the second edition in 2006. Chief Wallace worked with individual fire departments and served as an instructor and facilitator and numerous conferences and seminars throughout the United States as well as in Canada, Australia and New Zealand over the course of his career.

He completed an Associates Degree in Fire Science Technology, Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and a Master’s of Public Administration. He completed the Executive Fire Officer Program at the National Fire Academy. During his active fire service career, he received designations as a Chief Fire Officer by CSPE, a Fellow of the Institution of Fire Engineers International by IFE, and a Certified Emergency Manager by the IAEM. (All of these designations have lapsed since his retirement.)

Chief Wallace is retired and living in the Ozark Mountains of Northwest Arkansas with his wife Jackie Bromley and their two dogs, Loki and Shiner Bock.


This book (3rd edition) is a book about organized common sense in the fire service.

Section One of the 3rd edition provides support to fire departments that already have a strategic plan and just need to update and revise their existing plan.

Section Two of the book provides a detailed “How-to” guide to help a fire department create its first strategic plan.

Section Two is divided into four parts: (1) Understanding the Department, (2) Understanding the Situation, (3) Understanding the Strategic Issues Facing the Department, and (4) Creating Organizational Change.

A new chapter (Chapter 20) provides assistance to those departments having challenges with their strategic plan and obtaining the desired outcomes/results. It adds a new troubleshooting process for those departments having challenges to creating an effective and successful strategic plan.

The book is designed to be effective as a manual to develop an individual fire department’s strategic plan as well as a textbook for use in upper division college/university courses or as a text for post-graduate courses.

The accompanying Instructor’s Guide (new with the 3rd edition) is being designed for use in a 15-week semester course.

 Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Revisiting your existing strategic plan
  3. Speed planning for the time-challenged proactive futurist
  4. Strategic planning for accreditation by the CPSE/CFAI and National Professional Development
  5. Planning to plan strategically
  6. Understanding and applying the values of the department
  7. The value of vision to organizational change
  8. Identifying the department's mandates
  9. Developing the mission of the department
  10. Understanding and defining the philosophy of operations
  11. Assessing the challenges and opportunities of the external environment
  12. Assessing the weaknesses and strengths of the internal environment
  13. Identifying the strategic issues of the department
  14. Creating strategies for strategic issues
  15. Creating the department's ideal future through proactive futuring
  16. Operational planning from a strategic perspective
  17. Operational and master planning: The rest of the story
  18. Cyclic planning
  19. Organizational change for the creation of future excellence
  20. Troubleshooting and the strategic planning challenge wheel: Why strategic plans fail
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