Customer Service, Door-to-Door

For some time now, I've been reading about this new "cutting-edge" concept called "customer service" or "product delivery." If I understand the proponents of this concept correctly, they are saying, in their new books and on the lecture circuit, "Treat...


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In summary, I don't know if "customer service" is new, nor do I want to fuel a debate. I just want my people to do their jobs and then get home safely after each shift. As officers or managers, I would ask that we don't become too "cutting edge" and forget that every day our people face "customers" who are hostile, rude, impaired by drugs or alcohol, or just looking for a confrontation. Don't leave your people out there alone. They are the ones on the front lines and they may face these issues 25 or 30 times a day. They need to believe that we're not just sitting in our offices, oblivious to the realities of the street, but that we will be there for them.

Chief Concerns is a forum addressing issues of interest to chief fire officers. Opinions expressed are solely those of the writer. We invite all volunteer and career chief fire officers to share their concerns, experiences and views in this column. Please submit articles to: Chief Concerns, Firehouse Magazine, 445 Broad Hollow Road, Melville, NY 11747.


Michael L. Smith is a battalion chief in the District of Columbia Fire Department.