Local fire department asks community if it’s doing a good job – what more can it do?

Posted at 5:22 PM, Nov 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-04 17:39:00-05

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. -- You count on them in an emergency, but are they doing enough to serve you? That's what the Virginia Beach Fire Department wants to know from its community.

"What we’re really trying to find out is, 'First of all, are we doing everything that you want us to do?'" Art Kohn, the fire department's public information officer told News 3. "There could be other things that people would like to see their fire department do."

The department launched an online survey  that asks community members these questions. The survey was proposed by the department's Strategic Planning Committee.

"We want to know what people think," Kohn said. "We want to know the good, the bad, the ugly - anything, all of it."

It also asks what else residents and those who work in the city would like to see the department do. The answers also help the department maintain its accreditation.

“We want to look at other things that maybe the citizens want us to do that we’re not doing; that in the past maybe fire departments haven’t done." Kohn said. "If you get enough people saying, 'This is what we want,' then we certainly have to look at a way to provide that service.”

Related: Virginia Beach sends out survey to get feedback on raising public safety retirement age 

Kohn said the fire department received a 98% approval rating from city residents in past surveys. Those surveys, however, included feedback for all city departments including the fire department. This survey is solely for the fire department.

"That was pretty good, but nevertheless, you don’t sit back on it and say, 'Hey, 98% of the people like us, so we’re doing a good job,'" Kohn said.

Community members have until November 30 to fill out the survey.