Branding for the Fire Service

All firefighters are touch points for the fire service and have direct responsibility for being the personal face of the brand.If I say "white dog with a red spot on his eye," do you think Target? If I say "golden arches," do you think McDonald's? If I...

In closing, a fire department will have some type of brand, whether it creates one or not. Therefore, every department should be proactive in creating and maintaining its brand. The process of creating a brand begins with an understanding of what a brand is, identifying the stakeholders, understanding the unique needs of each stakeholder group, and identifying and anticipating internal and external factors that affect the department. Finally, branding is a dynamic process. The brand a department had last year may not be the same brand it needs this year. Generally, major changes are not required, only a tune-up, but constant monitoring, communicating, and promoting are required.


Dennis Wolf is the chief of the Germantown, TN, Fire Department. He joined the Germantown Fire Department in March 1977 and rose through the ranks to become fire chief in November 1995. He also serves as Germantown's Emergency Management Director.

Dennis holds a bachelor's degree in Fire Administration from the University of Memphis and a master's degree in Fire Service Leadership from Grand Canyon University. He is a charter graduate of the National Fire Academy's Executive Fire Officer program. An active 22-year member of the IAFC, he is a Past-President of the Tennessee Fire Chiefs Association and a member and past officer of the Mid South Fire Chiefs Association. He is a Chief Fire Officer Designee (CFO) and holds the grade of Member (MIFireE) in the Institution of Fire Engineers.