Developing a Code of Conduct

We are working in a climate where many have lost their jobs and are envious of ours, so we must sharpen the customer service skills.

Given these suggestions for expectations and engaging in conversations with fire prevention staff about what all this means is a good start to creating a code of conduct. Our recommendation is to follow this conversation by engaging staff to develop a list of behaviors or credos that provide guidance and direction. Providing a brief vision statement followed by a list of actions is common. An example can be:

Code Of Conduct
The fire prevention bureau will perform our duties to the highest professional standard possible, striving to protect all citizens, visitors and department members from injury and hostile fire. We shall perform these duties at all times following the principles listed below:

  • Be honest
  • Be respectful
  • Act ethically
  • Maintain high morals
  • Be accountable
  • Be responsible
  • Be kind
  • Maintain proficiencies

Once a commonly agreed and supported code of conduct is created, it should be frequently discussed, listed as performance criteria on performance planners and changed as frequently as may be necessary to address expectations.

We are working in a climate where many have lost their jobs and are envious of ours. Many of the people we serve may harbor beliefs we are overpaid and under worked. They are our customers and we must treat them with respect and provide them with the service they deserve and are paying for.

BRETT LACEY, a Contributing Editor, is the Fire Marshal for the Colorado Springs, CO, Fire Department and a professional engineer. He has over 27 years in the fire service and has served on various technical committees including NFPA 1031, IFSTA committee for Inspection practices, and Fire Detection and Suppression Systems and the Colorado Fire Marshal's Association Code Committee. PAUL VALENTINE, a Contributing Editor, is the Fire Marshal for the Mount Prospect, IL, Fire Department and formerly served as their fire protection engineer. He has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Fire Protection and Safety Engineering Technology from Oklahoma State University and a Master of Science Degree in Management and Organizational Behavior from Benedictine University and is a graduate from the National Fire Academy's Executive Fire Officer Program. Brett and Paul co-authored Fire Prevention Applications, published by Fire Protection Publications. To read their complete biographies and view their archived articles, click here. You can reach Paul by e-mail at: