Unit IV Case Study
Read the case study below, and follow the instructions provided to complete the assignment in its entirety.
On September 13, 2014, you were appointed to your fire service organization (Fire Department) Fire Prevention Division (FPD). You have been with the department for 10 years—four have been as captain assigned to a fire suppression company. You were selected from among six candidates because you earned a college degree in fire administration and management. In terms of seniority, you are number three, with two above you and three below you.
However, seniority was a qualification that was given low priority for appointment as the primary qualification was education and training. Prior to your appointment, the FPD was staffed by the senior-most captain of the department, who often did not have any formal education or training in fire codes, standards, or regulations. Rather, that person learned from on-the-job experience. The Chief of Department has decided to turn-a-new-page and appoint the captain having the highest degree of education. In addition to your college degree, you have also taken the initiative to obtain a National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) certification as a Fire Protection Specialist (CFPS).
The outgoing Fire Prevention Officer (FPO), who held the position for nearly 20 years, bids you good luck. As he turns to leave the office, he offers these cryptogrammic words, "don't rock any boats kid!" You settle into your new position with ease, though the division secretary is a bit uneasy having a new "boss." You have assured her that "there will not be 'major' changes within the division." Your first two weeks are filled with routine inspections and re-inspections, where you find no surprises or anomalies. In fact, most of the owners/operators of those occupancies that you re-inspected found you to be highly knowledgeable, relaxed, and very personable. They gave you high marks and look forward to having an opportunity to meet you again.
On Wednesday morning of your third week, you have a scheduled appointment for an annual inspection of a small industrial occupancy that is owned and operated by a highly respected member of the community. The firm has been in operation since the 1980s, and the owner is a member of nearly all the local business civic organizations as well as major contributor to charities. You cannot recall any negative press about this man nor his business. You arrive at the firm at the appointed hour of 9:00 a.m., only to find that the front door to the building is locked, and it appears that no one is on the premises. You call your office to double-check the appointment time with the secretary, who confirms the time; however, she ends her conversation with, "You know this man has never given us any trouble, so why not let the inspection pass?"
As you end the call, her words are somewhat disconcerting, leaving you with an onerous feeling that something is not quite right. You return to your vehicle deciding to wait a bit longer. While sitting in your vehicle, you review the historical file on this occupancy. Much to your surprise, you find that there has never been a single violation and that the company is a firm utilizing chemicals for cleaning automotive parts. In nearly 30 years of annual inspections, there is not even the slightest issue in the record. This is very unusual for a firm reported as storing large drums of volatile chemicals.
At around 10:15 a.m., a car enters into the parking area, parks near the front door, and a man in his mid-fifties or early-sixties emerges and walks to the front door. You exit your vehicle, walking toward the man who has not taken his eyes off you and whose facial expressions indicate that he does not recognize you. As you approach the man, you introduce and identify yourself as the newly appointed FPO of the department. He shakes your hand and asks, "Well now, what can I do to make your day run a bit smoother?"