What should the Philadelphia Fire Department look like in 2024? Dozens of members recently gathered to discuss the PFD’s mission, values and priorities, and to suggest projects designed to improve the working environment.
Civilians and uniformed personnel from a range of ranks and units kicked off the strategic planning process known as “PFD Roadmap 2024.” Held at the Independence Blue Cross conference center, the event featured multiple group exercises to identify the department’s strengths and challenges.
“No matter what perspective you’re bringing to the table, we all have the same goal — and that’s to make this Fire Department better,” Fire Commissioner Adam K. Thiel told the group before they set to work.
Participants were asked to brainstorm projects to address some of the issues facing the department. Ideas ranged from streamlining databases to installing more sophisticated station alert systems to boosting staffing during severe weather events.
“We want to make sure that members of the department are providing insight on where we need to be,” said Kristin El Idrissi, an assistant deputy commissioner for project management. “They’re out on the street every day living it — they know where we need to be improving.”
El Idrissi will create an internal online site where members can see the status of current projects as well as those suggested at the Roadmap 2024 event. The PFD encourages members to join working groups to help make these initiatives a reality.
“I think this is a great opportunity for everyone — fire, EMS, at every rank — to get your voice heard and to try to make this the best department it can possibly be,” said Lt. Tabitha Boyle, an EMS supervisor.
About 100 members were invited to this first event, and more workshops will be held in the coming months. All PFD employees will be able to see the results of these meetings; a full recap of the April 12 kickoff should be available in May.