By Anthony E. Neville, Howard D. Tipton, Richard E. Bland
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Additional info for America Burning: The Report of the National Commission on Fire Prevention and Control
A look at how one city has developed a master plan is instructive. ,² began to prepare its General Plan of Land Use. As a statement of fire department needs, the city manager’s office was prepared to accept the recommendations of the American Insurance Association (which at that time had responsibility for the Grading Schedule). These recommendations called for eight fire stations in Mountain View, with five men per engine company and six to seven men per truck company if the city wanted to improve the insurance grading.
The fire chief interceded to suggest that deeper study would lead to a different set of goals for the fire department. He proposed a “philosophy of fire protection” for Mountain View with two aspects. First, emphasis should be on preventing fire losses, chiefly through code enforcement and control of contents and activities within structures. Second, the fire department can cope with emergencies only to a certain level. ” Usually this would mean some form of built-in fire protection. In developing a master plan for fire protection, the Mountain View fire chief and his staff took a careful look at recent fire experience.
They seek the most cost-effective allocations of resources to help assure that the needs will be met. , written chiefly by fire department managers. This plan should, first of all, be consistent with and reinforce the goals of the city’s overall general plan. For example, it should plan its deployment of manpower and equipment according to the kind of growth, and the specific areas of growth, that the community foresees. It should set goals and priorities for the fire department. Not only is it important to set objectives in terms of lives and property to be saved, but also to decide allocations among fire prevention inspection, fire safety education, and fire suppression as the best way to accomplish the objectives.