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From the Chief
 A Continuous and Successful Future

Throughout the United States, the aging “baby boomer” generation and its impact on the workforce and economy are raising red flags in the leadership of organizations. In addition, tragedies like September 11, 2001, have a leadership impact through the unexpected loss of life. The destruction of  the World Trade Centers resulted in the loss of 172 corporate executives. To complicate the leadership concern over the last decade, many public and private workforces have downsized to become more efficient with fewer employees.  

Closer to home, in the fire service, the New York Fire Department lost key leadership positions on 9/11 that included the fire chief, along with 343 officers and firefighters. Even though tragedies like 9/11 cannot be predicted, the “aging baby boomer” population is a reality, which in turn has led organizations to address this future leadership continuity challenge.

In November 2014, the Kent Regional Fire Authority (RFA) created a Succession Planning Team that consisted of the following RFA personnel: Battalion Chief Kevin Garling, Captain Shelle Dier, Captain Daniel Hardman, Captain Jimmy Webb, Captain John Ahrens, Engineer John Robbins, Engineer Keven Rojecki, Engineer Phill Jorgensen, Deputy Fire Marshal Kevin O’Keefe, Firefighter Paul Zydek, Emergency Management Coordinator Kimberly Behymer, Purchasing/Finance Coordinator Tracy Staggers, and Administrative Support Arlene Larson. The team collaborated to create our first succession plan and related policy. The Kent RFA Succession Plan could also be referred to as a “business exit plan,” due to the unique business practices associated with the fire service.

The Succession Planning Team began the process by defining the fundamental and critical competencies of identified key positions within the organization. In addition, the team outlined educational requirements, training, and certifications that correspond for the key positions.

The succession plan will serve as a reference tool for existing department personnel as they consider filling future key vacancies. A crucial component of a succession plan is an effective and efficient transition in the replacement process.

It is a commitment of the succession planning team and the Kent Regional Fire Authority to provide a continuous and successful future for our employees and you, the residents, we serve and protect.

Thank you.

Kent Fire Department - RFA
24611 116th Ave. SE
Kent, WA 98030
Ph: (253) 856-4300