It’s no secret: The fire service is changing. At Fitch & Associates, we help fire departments become agile organizations that function well in uncertain times.
Today’s fire departments face an ever-growing number of challenges, many of them of a type and scale never experienced before. As a result, the value an outside expert can deliver is unprecedented. Fitch & Associates provides expert fire consulting services to local governments, as well as career, combination and volunteer fire departments of all sizes.
Fire department master plans and standards of cover, objective evaluation of consolidation opportunities, communications and data systems enhancements, technology implementation or integration, strategic planning services and EMS evaluations are typical types of projects we undertake for the fire service.
From the Fitch Files
Client: City of Richmond, Virginia
Issue: Develop a department master plan
Outcome: After a comprehensive risk analysis and capabilities review, coupled with extensive stakeholder engagement, Fitch made more than 50 pragmatic recommendations including future station locations, type of apparatus, staffing and deployment options, organizational structure, funding and leadership strategies that were incorporated into the agency’s implementation planning process.
Client: Surburban fire district near Seattle
Issue: Determine whether a participating municipality could effectively develop a separate fire department
Outcome: After reviewing both business processes and deployment dynamics, Fitch fire consultants recommended that the agencies remain unified, and assisted leaders in developing an enhanced service agreement.
Client: Suburban Chicago-area fire department
Issue: Assess feasibility of expanded transport services
Outcome: After a comprehensive analysis, Fitch recommended launching non-emergency and critical care transport services to meet community need and enhance department revenues.
Service improvement opportunity projects frequently involve developing and measuring relevant metrics, conducting departmental reviews, performing stakeholder and mission alignment projects, conducting risk evaluation and developing mitigation strategies. Client departments appreciate Fitch’s scientific approach to metric measurement that can be used to quantify service requirements and risk mitigation strategies.
We provide financial consulting for fire departments and municipalities on topics such as budgeting, membership program development, EMS billing and reimbursement. We also conduct compliance evaluations and assist municipalities involved in reimbursement or other regulatory compliance issues.
From the Fitch Files
Client: Large, urban city
Issue: Address allegations that the City’s fire department had overbilled Medicare, resulting in a potential liability of more than $40 million
Outcome: After Fitch’s expert review, the City repaid $2.5 million without admitting any wrongdoing or liability. Fitch was subsequently engaged to develop and deliver expanded ePCR documentation training for firefighters and medics.
We provide leadership consulting services for fire departments including individualized leader development programs, coaching and executive recruiting, conducting organizational climate surveys, and other strategies to improve labor/management relations. In all cases, we work with closely with department leaders to improve transparency and reduce non-value added activities.
We have completed projects on behalf of both domestic and international fire service agencies. In addition to achieving overall service performance improvements, our fire clients have successfully implemented deployment changes, upgraded EMS first response and initiated EMS/critical care transport.