"Dago Te", Welcome to the White Mountain Apache Tribe

» Strategic Planning

What is a Strategic Plan?

A strategic plan, in its simplest format, is a plan that determines where an organization is going over the next few years and how it's going to get there. The plan is not suppose to be a management plan, but a plan that was conceived and assembled from all employees within the organization. The key in the plan is input and participation from everybody, because what management sees, the line workers may see differently. Industries, whether it is public safety or the food and automobile industry, is every changing. Organizations cannot use yesterday's processes to succeed in the future. The strategic planning team forecasts these changes and makes the necessary changes within the organization to ensure their continued success.

Our Progress

Twice a month, members of the White Mountain Apache Fire & Rescue have been meeting to create our three (3) year strategic plan. Strategic planning takes time and work, and requires a personnel commitment. People in the organization must be willing to attend and provide their input. The strategic plan is about the future of the organization and how the people fit in it.

Vision Statement

The WMAFR Family will provide safe, community based, emergency, and prevention services. Our organization will be supported by an experienced, responsible, financially innovative, and motivated staff. This will be achieved through progressive training, cutting edge technology, teamwork, and dedicated leadership.

Within the next three (3) years, the WMAFR will inspire the community and/or our members to:
  • Make safety a way of life.
  • Build partnerships to enhance our effectiveness.
  • Create opportunities for personal growth.
  • Never quit pushing ourselves and other to be better.
  • Be financially responsible in our everday practices.
  • Have ownership and pride by taking care of what we have.
  • Be progressive in knowledge and technology.
  • Build a culture that promotes the fire service as a life long career and retains its experienced members.
  • Pass on experience and knowledge to others.
  • Live a healthy life in every possible way.

The above vision statement was developed with the input of many members of our department. While reviewing the input of others, we identified several consistent themes describing where people wanted to see our fire department in three years. The above Vision Statement was developed to capture these sentiments. Below, you will see the intended meaning of many of the descriptive words used in the vision statement that was expressed through the sentiments of our members. Use the definitions below to gain the full impact of our Vision Statement and to guide you in the fulfillment of who we are working to become.

Our community is the reason for our existence. We will continue to work as active members of the community by partnering with our neighbors and taking every opportunity to earn their respect and trust. We will also strive to find ways to offer members of our community opportunities to grow and pursue career opportunities. We want to be part of the solution.
Training is a fundamental and essential part of the fire service. We will make every possible effort to have the best trained firefighters and officers in the region. This means they will not only have the knowledge to get the job done, but they will also have the skills to handle any situation.
We are proud of who we are and the community we serve. Yet, we know that having pride is not being arrogant. We will show our pride through our professional appearance, commitment to training, and the level of service we provide. Our community will continue to be proud of us and know that they can trust us with their lives and property.
Our fire department is a major and important part of our lives. It is our second family. We also recognize the importance of our personal families and how much their love and support helps us to do our job. We will do our best to recognize the importance of both of our families by taking every opportunity to build and preserve these relationships.
We recognize the amount of responsibility our community has placed on our shoulders. Therefore, we make the commitment to meet their expectations from the top down. This means we will continue to be financially responsible. Treat everyone with respect. Train with purpose and stay in shape.
We realize the challenging financial situation that our local government is facing. Therefore, we will look for ways to get more done with less and take every opportunity to conserve. Again, we want to be part of the solution.
Emergency Service
Providing emergency service response is the core of what we do. Therefore, we will work hard to ensure that we are always prepared and well trained. Our goal is to provide the highest level of emergency response to our community as possible.
As a Fire Department, we understand the importance of preventing unnecessary fires and injuries. We are dedicated to developing a prevention division consisting of enforcement, investigation, and education.
Service to others is the foundation of what and who we are. We will continue to find ways to improve the service we provide to others and each other through prevention, response, and partnering with our neighbors.
Today’s world is technology driven. We acknowledge the importance of technology and we are committed to using it to improve the level of service we provide.
Experience is an essential quality for a firefighter to posses. Because of this, we will strive to increase the level of our firefighters experience through training, mentoring, and employee retention.
Without leadership, an organization will fail. We will strive to build the level of leadership within our fire department through training, mentoring and succession planning.

Organizational Values

Organizational values define the acceptable standards which govern the behavior of individuals within the organization. Without such values, individuals will pursue behaviors that are in line with their own individual value systems, which may lead to behaviors that the organization doesn't wish to encourage. Clearly, the organization's values must be in line with its purpose and the vision that it is trying to achieve.

The following values were selected and defined by the Strategic Planning team. They were developed through the contributions of many members of our fire department. Please take the time to learn these values and use them as a moral compass both on and off duty.

  • Honesty: Always do the right thing.
  • Responsibility: We own our actions and decisions.
  • Respect: To everyone with dignity, no matter what.
  • Motivation: Do it right and get it done, the first time.
  • Compassion: We treat everyone like family.
  • Honor: We live up to our values.


Stakeholders are persons, groups, or other organizations that have direct or indirect stake in an organization because it can affect or be affected by the organization's actions, objectives, and policies.

Stakeholders identified by the strategic planning team included:

  • Law Enforcement (tribal, state and county)
  • Department members and their family
  • Emergency Medical Services Department
  • BIA Forestry
  • Mutual Aid Partners (Pinetop, Lakeside, San Carlos, Show Low, etc.)
  • Housing Authority
  • HonDah Casino
  • Tribal Government
  • Community Members

Asking the stakeholders what they want and need from us, and what they can provide, is a critical element to the strategic planning process. Without knowing what our stakeholders want and need, we may end up providing the wrong service, thus wasting time and money.

Each member of the strategic planning team was given an assignment to met with a specific stakeholder to determine their wants and needs, and ways they can assist us. Check back for an update of the findings.

Strategic Planning Schedule

All members of the White Mountain Apache Fire & Rescue and those we have a direct relationship too, are encouraged to attend our strategic planning meetings as scheduled below. Unless otherwise noted, we meet at 0900 hours at Fire Administration.

  • June 18 - Stakeholder input conclusions and discussions.
  • July 16 - Stakeholder Progress Report
  • July 30 - Stakeholder Information Gathering and Organizational Goals, Session 1
  • August 20 - Organizational Goals, Session 2
  • September 10 - Organizational Goals, Session 3
  • September 24 - Organizational Goals, Session 4
  • October 7 - SWOC (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Challenges)
  • October 21 - Strategic Plan Draft Review, Session 1
  • Final Document Submitted to Fire Chief
  • Strategic Plan Draft Review, Session 2

It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. ˜Charles Darwin˜