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It is important that when a fire department decides to change its name, it should also overhaul its goals, message and culture – not just change a name or a logo. This process should also include changing the mission statement, vision statement and the cultural goals of the department. Even Dr. Denis Onieal, the superintendent at the National Fire Academy, has changed the names of some classes to reflect EMS after the U.S. Fire Administration’s mission was amended by Congress a few years ago in its reauthorization language to reflect EMS.
The fire service has well established itself in the EMS business. I do not ever see it going away. Now is the time for fire departments to embrace their EMS mission and look at rebranding themselves to adequately and correctly reflect the majority of work that they do.