This book helps elected and appointed government officials and citizens assess and establish standards for the efficient and effective delivery of quality services. Actual benchmarks are provided for numerous services such as libraries, parks and recreation, public works, emergency medical services, courts, animal control, risk management and public transport.

Fire Service
Fire service

More than most other municipal service units, fire departments revere tradition. And understandably so. More than 300 years after the establishment of America's first public fire department, the roots of fire service tradition run deep (Paulsgrove, 1997, p. 10.4).

Some fire department traditions are charming and contribute to an aura that fosters good will. A dalmatian living in the station house—or perhaps borrowed to ride on a gleaming fire truck in local parades—helps link the modern fire service with its colorful and heroic past. The Saturday morning ritual of firefighters washing their bright red fire engines—most still are red despite scientific studies suggesting better visibility of other colors—and polishing their ample chrome is a scene the public enjoys. Where traditions collide with managerial ...

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