Risk management is the process of identifying, assessing and controlling threats to the Bedford Fire Department and the community we serve. These threats, or risks, stem from a wide variety of sources, including personnel issues, legal liabilities, management errors, accidents and natural disasters. Risk management allows our organization to prepare for the unexpected by minimizing risks and extra costs before they happen.
By implementing a risk management plan and considering the various potential risks or events before they occur, the organization can avoid liabilities, and protect the community and organization assets. This is because a robust risk management plan will establish procedures to avoid potential threats and/or minimize their impact should they occur. This ability to understand and control risk enables our organization to be more confident in conducting our operations.
If that sounds a bit overwhelming, the good news is that Risk Reduction can be broken down into five main areas of focus, known as the 5 E’s.
1. Emergency Response
Ensuring our fire department’s emergency response is optimized and fully functioning is the key to reducing the impact of incidents in our community. In addition we utilize historical data to create a realistic department metrics to measure how effectively we are serving the community.
School tours, presentations, door-to-door visits, and school curriculum encourage face-to-face education. Flyers, brochures, articles, and social media outreach help our community members identify high-risk situations or behaviors in their own homes and within the community, and pass this information on to future generations as well. Through education our goal is to create Empowerment for community members and our firefighters to proactively reduce risk.
New risk-reducing products and technologies are being released on a regular basis, but your community may not be. We continue to work with other local organizations and government entities to promote and distribute these new products to the community at large when possible.
Speaking on inspections, there’s no better chance to improve fire prevention than identifying and notifying on potential risks and non-compliance in the community. Whether it is in a new construction, or the regular inspection of an older property, conducting careful and comprehensive inspections may actually be saving the lives of citizens and our firefighters. The Bedford Fire Department goal for inspections is 98% voluntary compliance.
5. Economic Incentives
Economic incentives can be a useful tool in encouraging individuals and business to make choices that reduce risk. Increasing Fire Department staffing and available water sources (such as hydrants) can reduce insurance premiums.