Airport Fire: a Change Initiative

Topics: Firefighting, Firefighter, Public safety Pages: 6 (1827 words) Published: July 16, 2013
DFW Airport Fire Driver Engineer’s Initiative
Jessie Gentry
Grand Canyon University: LDR 615
June 5, 2013

DFW Airport Fire Driver Engineer’s Initiative
In the thirty-six year history of DFW Airport department of Public Safety (DPS) the organizations has grown into a professional public safety organization that rivals that of many moderately sized communities in the United States. Starting as a true DPS covering all three disciplines; Police, Fire, and EMS, and growing into an organization of dedicated Firefighters and Police officers covering their assigned duties in Fire Services and Police Services. Fire Services alone now maintains approximately 240 firefighters and officers operating out of six fire stations, and consists of four Divisions; Fire Operations, EMS Operations, Bureau of Fire Prevention and Planning, and Career Development and Training. To continue to grow effectively and sustain professional fire services including emergency fire response the organization must develop and institute a Driver Engineer’s Program. This change initiative would be considered an organizational culture shift essential to sustaining efficient and effective emergency fire response aligning with one of the Airport’s strategic plans for operational excellence. The existing Field Training Officer (FTO) Program can serve as model for this change as it is somewhat similar in nature and has worked effectively for years. The ADKAR model for change is used as it allows for teams to focus on a specific activity for specific results (Hargovind, 2007). Introducing a change initiative adding the rank of Driver Engineer will be no easy task. It is critical that all elements of the change model are carefully organized and communicated throughout the process to all stakeholders. Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability, and Reinforcement (ADKAR) aids in the creation of focus with a results-oriented approach toward the production of a successful end (Hargovind, 2007). This change model fits well within the organizational culture of the Department of Public Safety. Awareness

Currently, it is known based on research and data that fire apparatus accidents at DFW Airport have increased and the cause can be tied to the fact that all 200 firefighters are trained to drive and operate the apparatus in lieu of a select few trained in this specialty meeting the needs of the department. Positions for driver-engineer could be filled using the Department’s established promotional process. This position will build on the previous position of Firefighter and will also require State and local certifications. The new change can include elements of the existing FTO program for Fire Operations currently established sustaining a continuing education training program. Implementation and establishment of this program will align with the Airport’s vision and support the Department’s mission to lead the way allowing for growth while maintaining a strong training, education, and development program for our firefighters and officers. In 2001 the face of DPS changed the most it had changed in its thirty-six year history. The two functional disciplines were divided into two Public Safety Services; Police Services and Fire Services. Police Services would be responsible for all of the Law Enforcement duties, and Fire Services would be responsible for all Fire and EMS duties. This was a huge step forward in the development of a true fire service for the Airport. Shortly after the split, the Fire Service implemented the 24/48 shift schedule. In doing so, staffing on all structural fire apparatus increased to three firefighters and an officer. The Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting (ARFF) apparatus continued to operate with one firefighter. The Department opened Station 6 on September 11, 2003 and hired almost 40 firefighters bringing the Fire Services staffing to approximately 240 firefighters and officers. Shortly after this drastic change in...

References: Egan, R. W. (2004). Change and resistance, Help for the practitioner of change, Retrieved from (
FAA, (2013). FAR 139 requirements; fire apparatus, Advisory Circular, Federal Aviation Administration.
Grand Canyon, (2013). Lecture 5, Grand Canyon University.
Hargovind, A. (2007). Organizational change models: a comparison, Retrieved from
Kotter, J. P. (1996). Successful change and the force that drives it. The Canadian Manager, 21(3), 20-24. Retrieved from
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