Fire Service in the U.S.A Organization

A Case Study of Boston Fire Department

The Boston Fire Department has wide fire coverage in the whole of Boston city at the heart of Massachusetts State. Additionally, the Boston fire Department is also mandated to provide primary medical care especially those which require immediate attention. The department has a noble duty of giving a quick response to quite a number of emergencies. A case in point is the motor vehicle crashes. The Boston Fire department makes quick and helpful response to accident scenes to offer the necessary help possible. Besides, other areas of interest to this department include but not restricted to harmful spillages, electrical accidents, erratic weather zones like flooding and accidents which arise from building and construction works.

The Boston Fire Department has a client base estimated at slightly half a million within the city and immediate suburb.

This fire department was incepted way back in 1631 and has grown in leaps and bounds to meet the growing challenges as well as the dynamic nature of the fire outbreaks alongside other accidents. It uses different types of machines to handle the varying emergencies. On the other hand, questions have been raised on the safety of the Boston fire Department equipment. There are those who have been either killed or seriously injured by the equipment. For example, Lieutenant Kelly Kevin was killed by one of the equipment while using it (Drucker 143).

The Boston Fire Department has seven remarkable sub departments. The fire suppression department is the most notable division bearing in mind that it deals with immediate emergencies like fire outbreaks, vehicle accidents among others. The other sub department is the fire prevention unit which has the duty for keeping proper information records, giving licenses, building monitoring and inspection as well as carrying out civic education on the safety procedures in case of emergencies or how to avoid such eventualities altogether.

The entry level of fighters up to the time they are due for retirement is monitored by training and research division while the special project has a division of its own which deals with special emerging concerns. Moreover, the strategic planning office deals with the formulation and implementation of both short and long term goals and objectives. Finally, the human resource department has the role administering the staffing requirements of the Boston Fire Department.

The organizational context

There are a myriad of external impacts which can affect the service delivery of the Boston Fire Department. For example, due to changing and quite dynamic forms of emergencies involved, the department might at time s not meet up the challenge of catering for all the emergencies which comes along their way. For instance, there have been reported cases of injury and some times death associated with the use of fire fighting equipment. Moreover, other external factors like politics can equally affect the operation of the Fire Department especially when appointments to top positions within the organization are politically instigated contrary to expected merit for individuals joining such ranks (Langford 63).

Roles of individuals and teams within the organization

The ability to work as team provides the efficiency and effectiveness which is duly needed for immediate feedback on important and urgent duties. This is equally pertinent especially in cases where there are other competitive payers in the market offering the same services. Through an effective and well harnessed team work, an organization has a firm standing point through which it can bridge and harmonize the different available expertise, competences and skills required to accomplish certain tasks. Teams will provide a myriad of support systems necessary to advance certain goals and objectives within an organization. For instance, teams provide a way of boosting the performance of an organization (Atkinson 321). In the case of Boston fire department, the element of team work is part and parcel of its day to day success story in offering emergency services. The department cannot boast of the performance of a single individual in achieving its goals; it requires the collective effort of all the team members. When this is achieved, the team spirit will definitely reduce the cost of production as well as expeditiously carrying out further innovation which will definitely lead to improvement of the quality of product or service offered. Moreover, well structured teams will increase the elasticity within which work is conducted in an organization. Additionally, teams will enhance sharing of ideas through which it will be possible for the organization to employ new technologies thereby conforming to the market needs. The case study of Boston Fire Department is a clear illustration of how team work can be of great help especially when the identification and solution of work related problems are made easy and possible through team work. As the fire department endeavors to offer its services to the Boston city population, weaker systems like equipment which are faulty and perhaps dangerous to use could be identified and adequately addressed through a well harnessed and developed team work.

On the same note, the formation of groups within an organization is of great help and necessity to the very organization. To begin with, it should be note that groups play a significant role both in individuals and also in an organized team spirit. Perhaps we may probe ourselves the reason why people prefer to form groups. In focusing at the Boston Fire Department, much of its emergency operation work is conducted in groups. Through the performance of a group, the merit and success level of an organization are put to task. The importance of group euphoria here is that team work will inevitably be developed and utilized to the optimum.

The formation of groups within departments or organizations may take different forms depending on the purpose of those groups. Essentially, the formation of a group will primarily depend on the purpose of the group under discussion. In any case, organizational or departmental groups may not necessarily be formal. The underlying factor as far as the formation of groups is concerned is the mutual identity and common focus which can aptly lead to the realization of the desired results. A case in point is the Boston Fire Department where there can be group formations within the seven divisions of the fire fighting department. Each division can host quite a number of groups which develops into teamwork in focusing for a common goal.

The modality used in the formation of groups may differ from one organization or department to another. Meanwhile, in any given group formed, there is usually two or more people harmoniously gathered with a common goal. Besides, group formation entails ace to face communication exchanges in which each of the group is vividly aware of not only his role in the group but also the identity of the individual group members. This would go beyond appreciating each others effort in focusing and targeting towards improved results (Graham 36).

On the other hand, there are different categories of groups which can e formed under the level of an organization. This may take two forms namely formal and informal. A psychological group, for instance is an informal tpe and its main duty to its members is basically molding closer ties among the members through emotional and psychological support. An aggregate group on the other hand will comprise a group of people who are no t related but they happen to physically close to each other over minimal time duration.

Organizational structure

An organizational structure would be comprised of divisions like conventional work design and structures related to micro aspects of the organization. In addition, the structure of an organization ought to comprise the strategic plan as well as the probable design to be used. The manner in which a particular task is designed will indeed affect the behavioral pattern of an employee (Harrison 78).

The traditional work design for instance is a repercussion of a scientific work management. This is well elaborated in the Taylor’s theory which attempts to relate scientific mode of management to greater efficiency at work place. The argument is that if the output per a given employee is increased while at the same time reducing the intentional under working by employees will lead to easier management of employee workforce. In this regard, it is easy to predict job performance by scaling down the available tasks into smaller manageable groups (Pratt 432).

The elements of structure refer to the standardized structure of roles and duties which coordinates workers as well as motivating them in a bid to achieve the goals and objectives of an organization. The main objective of drawing an organizational structure is to come up with a clear.

Coherent plan on how activities and duties can be allocated as well as be coordinated in achieving the set aims of an organization. The structure will address one or many of the following issues like division of labour and specialization in different areas of expertise, leadership ladder and grouping. The structure will moreover designate ways and means of integrating other elements of work which when put together leads to the realization of stipulated goals and objectives. Closely related to the organizational structure is the chart which indicates the different positions available within an organization and the roles performed by each individual. The organizational chart will clearly sow how different work titles are coordinated under different departments. The hierarchy of leadership beginning from the lower job groups to the top positions are indicated in an organizational chart. In this case, a chain of command will be shown. Besides, for communication to flow in an orderly manner there needs to be some channels well established within an organization. These proposed communication channels will all fall under the organizational chart. It should be noted that communication is a very important application in any organization. For instance, the Boston fire Department must have a comprehensive communication system to enable it tackle arising emergencies within the shortest time possible.

Another important area is in the organizational processes which essentially deals with the change, development as well as culture within an organization. These three elements in an organizational process are equally significant. To begin with, an organizational development is important because it creates a viable platform through which the performance index of either individuals or organizations can be determined and thereafter improved (Agaplou 192). This will in turn increase on the effectiveness of the organization. Moreover, the process of organizational development can be intervened in quite a number of ways. For example, it is easy to intervene whenever a challenge arises in organization. The case study of Boston Fire Department depicts the state of the faulty equipment which sometimes exposes its employees to danger. Through a proper intervention procedure, the cause and effects of such a problem an be identified and dealt with well in advance before further and deaths are reported. Moreover, the organizational development intervention tools can be used to diagnose problems not only within the entire organization alone but also at an individual level, group/team level and the inter group level.


The case study of the Boston Fire Department revealed that this public wing of the federal government has been mandated to primarily offer firefighting services within the Boston city. The fire department also offers other services to this growing population which includes responding to accident emergencies as well as monitoring buildings and giving civic education to people on the fire safety procedures in terms of prevention and disaster preparedness and management. Nevertheless, the fire department can improve its services by adopting the thoroughly scrutinized organizational management procedures like development charts and intervention procedures.


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Atkinson J. The Changing Corporation. In new patters of Work, Clutter buck D.(ed), Cowes, 1985.

Drucker J and White G. Managing people in construction. London Institute of Personnel Management, 1996

Graham H. Handbook, Human Resource Management. London: Longman, 1995

Harrison R. Employee Development. London Institute of Personnel management, 1992

Management and organizational behaviour, Boston, MA, Pitman, 1999.

Langford, D Human Resources Management in the construction industry, London: Longman, 1995

Pratt K. Elements of personnel management.New York: Van Nostrand, 1985.

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