- Require sign-offs on shift logs and important memos.
- Implement an open-door policy.
- Rethink your role as a leader.
Fire departments face unique challenges when it comes to their internal communications.
With personnel scattered between stations and shifts, it can be difficult to get the same message out to every staff member. Firefighters can feel siloed from the wider organization, only communicating with those on their same shift.
Down the line, this can lead to issues with performance, and even safety.
Traditional forms of communication include word of mouth, bulletin boards, paper shift logs, email. However, these are often inefficient and ineffective.
Many command staff only send out a department-wide email or ask shift commanders to pass a printed memo along to firefighters. But this means they have no way of guaranteeing that the information reaches everyone on staff.
A lack of internal communication can leave firefighters feeling out of the loop, which hurts morale. Miscommunication about policy updates, equipment issues or emergency situations can also impede their ability to do their jobs effectively, and even put them at risk.
Improving internal fire department communications can be as simple as pairing some of the traditional formats with technology tools.
Here are a few ways to improve internal communication in your department so that you can ensure safety and success for everyone on your team.