As everyone knows, our performance is very tricky to measure. In part it’s affected by the size of the area we have to cover, and in part by how well we train our fire fighters. It’s also affected, of course, by the our citizenry and how careful they are in their use of fire. Nevertheless, we need to find some metrics that the city council can use to judge how good a job we’re doing. Otherwise, we’re going to have a hard time justifying our budget.
The speaker was Julian Talbot, Chief of the Carleton Fire Department. Chief Talbot had just been given the preliminary findings of an 18-month evaluation of fire protection in a national study of 1,400 fire departments. He knew he would soon be asked to compare Carleton’s performance to similar fire departments in cities of comparable size nationwide. He wanted to be ready.