Management & Mission Q&A

Q: We have a mission and a vision statement

for our department. They are both

very lengthy. No one really pays any

attention to them. Truthfully, most

employees don’t know what they are

good for. What good are they?

A: A mission statement should describe

very simply and directly what your organization

does every day.

A vision statement

should tell staff and customers what

you are striving to achieve in the future.

Again, in very simple and understandable

terms.

If employees don’t understand

these foundational elements of their work

then how will they know why they do

what they do?

If they don’t know the why

and the what of their work they really

can’t be very effective and efficient in

their efforts as an organization.

Once

everyone in your organization (department,

division, center, etc.) clearly

understands why and what they do as it

relates to your mission and vision you’ll

be amazed at the results.

Bill Potter

Q: How do you recruit citizens to be volunteer

leaders in local government?

A: A method that has been successful

for us is our version of a Citizens Academy.

The Community Associations Academy

selects (through application) 25 residents

who are current or aspiring community

leaders.

Together, this cohort participates

in an eight-week educational program,

designed to instruct citizens on how we

work with and as local government.

Our

program has shown that once our residents

have obtained a better understanding

as to how we operate, these ambassadors

are excited and motivated to participate

throughout our community.

The

Academy meets one night a week for

eight weeks for two and a half hours,

with each session covering a specific

organizational department or service

provider in our community.

The Academy

concludes with a tour of the community

and a graduation ceremony where our

elected officials pronounce our graduating

class.

Audra Thomas, Management Analyst,

Community Associations of The

Woodlands (Texas), Parks and Recreation

Q: Should parks and recreation management

participate in emergency preparedness

planning?

A: Absolutely. Even more so today, those

who assume responsibility for others coming

into a particular venue better be ready

to assist should an emergency situation

occur. Not because of liability purposes

(though that is a great reason), but because

it is the right thing to do.

Many threats

have been identified. Unfortunately, if you

ask majority of Americans what they can

do to protect themselves from chemical,

biological, radiological, nuclear, or explosive

(CBRNE) threats, most don’t have

clue.

For example, most can’t distinguish

between how a chemical attack would

look versus a biological attack. The signs

are easy to see and even more important

can provide facts for responding that can

save lives.

Parks and recreation managers

should consider preparing for CBRNE

threats. Preparing includes increasing

awareness and knowledge levels among

staff members.

This does not only to make

them better at their jobs, but to prepare

them to protect their loved ones at home.

The Center for Public Health Preparedness

and Research at Emory University has

developed a simple, easy-to-use three-step

approach to help organizations prepare for

emergency situations.

The Plan, Train, and

Exercise approach is just that. Experts

work to assess your facilities, plan the

response, train the staff, and exercise to

ensure a quick and appropriate response

to today’s threats.

Let your work environment

be the channel for individuals to

educate themselves about CBRNE and

other threats. Be a leader in protecting

your staff and users coming to parks and

recreational venues.

Sean Kaufman is the Director of

Programs at the Center for Public Health

Preparedness and Research in the Rollins

School of Public Health at Emory University,

Partner and Chief Public Health Officer for

Go2Gear Inc., and the Area Chair for the

Health and Sciences Department at the

University of Phoenix, Atlanta Campus.

Sean has several years of experience in the

fields of health education, crisis and risk

communication and emergency preparedness

and will give emergency preparation

presentations at Parks & Rec Business LIVE!

at Deer Creek State Park, near Columbus,

Ohio, Sept. 19-20.

Q: What new items are needed for an

emergency response kit?

A: Several. Unfortunately, there are several

threats we face today that may require

different types of equipment. A flashlight,

first-aid kits and radios have always been

included in emergency response kits.

However, today’s emergency kits should

include all of the above and:

1. Burn cream (extra)

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