Reinvestment Strategies

In this installment, we will look at some general strategies for reinvesting the revenue that comes in.
By now, you should be getting the general feel of the 6R system and how it can help you.
Respect is important throughout the entire process. Having a deep respect for being part of one of the greatest jobs on earth is paramount. If you have that, you can carry on to do the most good for the most people.
The response is the reason why we are employed. If it weren’t for the response, we would all be asking “do you want to super size that” or spending our days tending to our sheep and wondering if the sun will again come up in the east. We thrive on the response and we use that response or the idea of the response to bring in revenue.
Reimbursement is fundamental in gaining that revenue to get the things we need for the response. It is a key part of the operation and should be understood by everyone; from the line firefighter to the Chief. Your paycheck would be blank if it weren’t for the reimbursement.
So lets talk about reinvestment. I used the word reinvestment in the system because 1) it started with R. I didn’t want to call it the “5R System and That Other Word” because it seemed as if it would cost more to put on a t-shirt and 2) because you are taking the revenue that was generated with the revenue you used to get the equipment and gadgets in the beginning. It is kind of a recycle process to a certain degree, if that makes sense.
So when we look and reinvestment or investment of our revenue, you must understand that in this day and age, there is little room for error and even less room for spending a lot and getting a little. We need to be cognizant of how each dollar is spent and we need to do the leg work to make certain that we are getting the most “bang for our buck”.
This is a group activity. It takes everyone’s input to make the process work. I have been on each end of this process and have seen varying strategies work and fail. The worst scenario is when the man in the big white helmet wants to have his thumb on the group or wants to have input on every detail of the process so he feels that he is not missing anything. The micromanagement slows the process and make those involved feel like they are waisting their time or that they don’t have control of the outcome. Those groups usually end up frustrated and wondering why they bothered if the result was predetermined. You are surrounded by highly motivated and smart people. If you are a leader who feels as if you need to be involved in every step, take a minute and step back. You will be surprised at what the group can do on their own.
If you find yourself in a group that is tasked with a reinvestment project, be “all in”. You have the opportunity to really be creative and find solutions that will be both fiscally prudent and of the highest value. The taxpayer will appreciate your hard work. You need to keen an eye on the bottom line and work with your team members to complete the project on time and on budget. Use all of the resources you can find to learn everything you can about what your needs are, what you need to spend to meet those needs and what the end result is. Each “widget” you are looking to purchase has an industry built around it with experts who hold all of the information you need. Use those experts, ask your colleagues both inside your department and out, read the trade publications and make sure there are no surprises. Nothing is more embarrassing than presenting your proposal in an open forum and Bob the plumber asks a question about the item that you don’t know the answer to. Being “all in” is just that. Know what you are looking at upside down and sideways.
I am not reinventing the wheel here (I have said that before) but I feel as if we all need a refresher on what we are supposed to be doing and why. Be the good steward of the public money. Have the most impact with the dollars you have. Your bean counters will thank you and it will pay dividends at the polls or in the budget meeting down the line.

Some of you have asked how I am doing on a personal level. I am doing ok. I fight the good fight against the depression every day and I win most days. I have a great support network around me with a beautiful girlfriend who is in the fire service so she understands what I a dealing with. I am still sad and irritated about how my management career ended and still feel that I was abandoned by the City government. The situation did not have to end the way it did but I can’t change that. From all accounts, they are reaping what they sew. I have heard rumors of open shifts, poor station conditions, lack of solid leadership and an attempt to hire back problem employees that were terminated years ago. All I can do is laugh and say I told you so. It is unfortunate that the citizens have to suffer for so that a few idiots can get their way. They are clowns with their heads up each others asses so they get what they get. I hope the new person that is hired will clean up the place again. It is a good department that deserves better than what they have right now.

I know I haven’t said this before so THANK YOU for reading this blog and letting me put my ideas out there. My only hope for this blog is that it helps someone develop new ideas or learn from what I have been through to help their department or organization move forward.
Thanks for stopping by!

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