How to Organize Your Own F.a.c.e. Team
(FACE = Firefighters Attacking the Cancer Epidemic)
1. Select your initial core members
This should include personnel who are:
- committed and their involvement is for effective change
- formal and informal leaders in the department
- influential members of both union and management
- represented by different sections in the department (firefighters, mechanics, investigators, airpot, varied ranks, etc)
- active and retired (many “retirees” bring leadership and have a lot to offer)
- involved in risk management, risk reduction
- commit to building sustainability, ensure team roster includes younger members as well
2. Select a mission and vision statement, and slogan (if applicable)
* You have permission to copy all of this verbatim or modify as you wish.
* Have someone from team read your mission and vision each meeting.
A Mission Statement defines the team’s objectives and its approach to reach those objectives. A Vision Statement describes the desired future position of the team.
Sample Mission Statement from Palm Beach County Fire Rescue:
The mission of FACE is to identify all contributing factors to the alarming cancer rates among the members of PBCFR and the fire service. And with that, to create methods of reducing or eliminating these factors. We will do this through research, education, prevention and support. Our mission will be driven by this one purpose and commitment: to improve the health and lives of fire service personnel.
Sample Vision Statement from Palm Beach County Fire Rescue:
Our Vision is a Palm Beach County Fire Rescue free of occupationally related cancer exposures & incidents and a fire service created where all members are empowered with the desire, knowledge and abilities to capture and sustain our mission.
Sample Slogan / Logo from Palm Beach County Fire Rescue
3. Select your meeting date/time and meeting location
It is best to select the same date and time (first Wednesday of the month at 1-3pm)
- Have the meeting without fail at the set time.
- Lock in your meeting location and time for the year and announce them.
- When you first form, you may decide to meet more frequently.
- Have a CORE Team meeting - overall monthly meeting.
- There may also be sub-committee meetings as needed: smaller groups working on specific projects.
4. Select 3-5 priorities and a timeline to reach these goals, then re-evaluate
* don't try to do it all at once...
The team may solicit ideas and suggestions from management, members of the organization or simply the team members. Possible priorities might include:
- Gross On Scene Decon of personnel and gear at fire scenes
- Diesel exhaust capturing
- Accessibility to advanced cleaning for gear
5. Share your goals and accomplishments
Schedule regular meetings with your administration to keep them informed and supportive of the team’s effort. Publish minutes, a newsletter, department wide e-mail, to keep your department personnel updated as to the progress and direction of the team.
6. Stay involved in current research and best practices
Attend your region’s Florida Firefighter Safety and Health Collaborative meetings, state conferences that include firefighter safety, and articles published in professional journals. Ensure all members are connected to our State FACE Team by joining www.floridafirefightersafety.org & social media sites.
7. Stay focused on mission and vision - work for change
Be encouraged that you’re bringing health and quality of life for our fire service. That the work, energy and commitment of all members of your team matters more likely than not than any committee they've been apart of. Be consistent and persistent but patient.