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APMM SERIES: A conversation with Jerry Ozog about Leadership in Emergency Services
Episode 527th June 2024 • PCC Local Time • Nancy Joan Hess
00:00:00 00:42:44

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Jerry Ozog, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Fire & Emergency Services Institute, is here today to talk about challenges in the leadership of emergency services. We cover topics such as everyday leadership vs crisis leadership, community expectations, funding and transparency, organizational models, recruitment, including diversity and inclusion, and the particular challenge small communities face.

This episode is part of our APMM series. APMM is dedicated to the promotion of professional and effective local government management of Pennsylvania.


Jerry Ozog Bio on LinkedIn

Pennsylvania Fire & Emergency Services Institute

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[00:00] Facilitator Leadership

[03:53] Effective Relationships Seminar

[09:03] Building Trust and Transparency

[13:12] Different Cultures in Emergency Services

[15:56] Collaborative Leadership and Flexibility

[21:41] Preserving Collaborative Cultures

[25:54] Community-Based Strategic Planning

[31:42] Inclusion and Diversity

[40:54] Solutions Through Collaboration


On Collaborative Leadership:

  • "In these environments, the day-to-day leadership in today's environment you need more of a facilitator that can bring people to the table and be able to... accept ideas from other people. I want to work with other people."

Balancing Command and Control with Collaboration:

  • "Sometimes that leader gets into a position. They are a command and control folk. And there's a lot of problems within the organization where the employees or the volunteers feel that I never get a voice. I never get to say anything."

Building Trust Through Collaboration:

  • "I tell municipal officials you don't go immediately and demand records from the fire company. You gotta approach it where let's sit down and have coffee together. Let's talk. Let's identify the fire company leadership. Let's develop that relationship to start to build a little bit of trust and ease our way into helping the fire company and the municipality learn about each other."

Importance of Frontline Input in Strategic Planning:

  • "There's something that is called a community-based strategic plan for fire and EMS where a stakeholder group of citizens are brought together... and you use that session as an initial SWOT analysis for defining what their expectations are."

Collaborative Decision-Making in Volunteer Organizations:

  • "When you assess and let's say you're working to get a fire tax implemented and doing those things, you definitely want to focus on keeping a few of the traditional events... there has to be a connection and feedback where I see places that are challenged or they're internally making their own decisions based on no feedback."



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