The sixth Wingspread conference was held last year in Racine, Wisconsin. Wingspread conferences are convened once every 10 years to discuss issues impacting the fire and rescue service now and into the foreseeable future. Forty-three fire and rescue leaders were invited to this intense three-day meeting.
Conference participants discussed fourteen issues of national significance, focusing on the strategic delivery of fire and rescue services to American communities. A strategic statement for each issue was framed to address how we reduce the loss of life, injuries and property, with a focus on keeping firefighters safe. Each statement includes:
- The problem or issue statement.
- Background information to provide a brief but important orientation of the issue.
- Action steps necessary to solve each issue.
The 14 issues identified at Wingspread VI as impacting the fire and rescue service now and in the future are:
- Homeland security response and violent incidents in communities.
- Adapting to change.
- Occupational disease and injury, and the overall health, wellness and fitness levels of members.
- Technology to protect member health and safety.
- The importance of marketing and branding.
- The development and use of realistic training simulations.
- Development of leadership skills to manage in current times.
- An improved process for collection and management of data.
- The need to embrace automatic fire sprinklers and technologies that add to organizational and community safety.
- Using data from "smart" technology for real-time access to pertinent information.
- Prioritizing an all-hazards mitigation and response model that connects our customers with the necessary community resources.
- Leveraging community goodwill to maintain and increase funding.
- Proactively driving the research agenda and equipment design to effectively provide services based on community needs.
- Adapting emergency medical resources into a more robust, integrated mobile healthcare system.
You can download a free copy of the Wingspread VI report, and reports from previous conferences, below.