The term mission creep came to my attention after reading a Jack Reacher Book. I love Jack because he is so simple and basic. He was describing a military mission with very specific objectives and then Mission Creep occured. The “Google Definition” is the “gradual shift in objectives during a military campaign”. Further defined as broadening or expanding after a successful operation. WOW. And then issues: Length of campaign, support waning, supply difficulties,dangerous path of success, risktaking, … Then I got to thinking about all the organizations I am a part of?
My forefathers started this country, cities, towns, forms of government , schools and churches. I am a large part of all these in Vienna. I am one of the go to guys folks call when there are issues or problems and concerns. I have positioned myself as a leader and community businessman. I gladly take responsibility for anything I am responsible for. I am the Brookstown Council Chair. I am the Vienna Fire Chief. I am the Owner of Wilson’s Garage. In these things my family and especially Roberta is right along side of me.
I have years of experience and look at many of these organizations and hope someone will have the drive to keep them in motion. I am afraid we have had a Mission Creep. It seems to happen in the most gradual way. My Fire Department added services because no one else was doing that service. Don’t get me wrong, EMS, HAZMAT, RESCUE and the myriad of other jobs needed to run a full service Fire Department are needed. They just add personnel, take training time, and increase volume of calls and paperwork.
I love my Volunteer status in my Fire Department. I understand the paid Staff and the concerns each nuance brings to our table. I am able to continue to give of my time and my considerable talent because Vienna has Full time paid Firefighters. I have recently lost a couple of Qualifications due to time constraints. I wish I had more time to devote but cannot. So some things go astray. Lucky for me I have such a devoted team of FF and Officers to carry out the plan, run the calls and resolve issues. I think we need to address each section of our mission and make sure we are devoting the proper amount of time that is needed. EMS assist takes lots of training and time. Required classes and training. New drugs and techniques require constant attention. The old days of a good ole’ boy rushing to the station to drive as needed are over. We had mission creep.
Our training for the fire service has moved with the Youth. Flashy pictures and fast lecture and hands on are needed to keep the attention. YouTube and the internet shorten prep time and helps the young crowd keep their attention. Basics are stressed. Are we really doing the best for these kids? I see a need for repetition that is not being achieved. Teach, instruct, practice, review and Repeat. Many Fire service and Life lessons are repetitive.
Be careful of Mission Creep. Keep training to fight the Fire, Rescue the Civilians, Rescue Self, and Protect the Property…