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Runnestrand, Dan. Marketing Fire Investigation. Fire Chief. Vol 41, No. 7 (July 1997). p 44+.

Abstract: Now is the time to market fire investigation, according to the author. Fire investigation contributes to fire prevention and is therefore a public safety issue. A basic strategy would include three components.

The first step in marketing is to identify the customer. In the of case fire investigation, customers are both internal and external. Internal customers include colleagues in; fire department management, operations, fire prevention, public information, public education and other bureaus. External customers include politicians, city managers, police, the district attorneyís office and other city staff. Insurance and related companies are considered customers as well. And of course, individual citizens and businesses have a direct interest in fire prevention. Customers provided with information and statistics regarding fire investigation might very well operate more effectively and should be solicited for input regarding their concerns.

When the needs of the customer are understood, the second step, designing a solution, can proceed. Different fire departments will have different solution requirements, but four fundamental principles should be considered; problem identification, investigation response, intervention strategies and cooperation.

Problem identification requires an unbiased evaluation of the threat of fire in one's community. Fire investigation must be treated with proficiency and dedication to achieving the highest level of skill and ability. Intervention strategies require accurate determination of cause and analysis of trends. And finally, cooperation with potential partners in the community is vital.

The last step in marketing is presentation. Fire investigation must be demonstrated as a prerequisite to fire prevention. Ideally, the first two steps of identifying the customer and designing a solution have been successfully accomplished. Hopefully budgetary constraints have been considered. Cost-reduction strategies include sharing trained investigators between communities, soliciting grants and donations, and aggressive restitution.

For more information, contact:
Fire Chief
35 E. Wacker Drive, Ste. 700
Chicago, IL 60601-2198
Phone: (312) 726-7277

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