Unit IV Case Study
Read the case study below, and follow the instructions provided to complete the assignment in its entirety.
On September 13, 2014, you were appointed to your fire service organization (Fire Department) Fire Prevention Division
(FPD). You have been with the department for 10 years—four have been as captain assigned to a fire suppression
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company. You were selected from among six candidates because you earned a college degree in fire administration and
management. In terms of seniority, you are number three, with two above you and three below you.
However, seniority was a qualification that was given low priority for appointment as the primary qualification was
education and training. Prior to your appointment, the FPD was staffed by the senior-most captain of the department, who
often did not have any formal education or training in fire codes, standards, or regulations. Rather, that person learned
from on-the-job experience. The Chief of Department has decided to turn-a-new-page and appoint the captain having the
highest degree of education. In addition to your college degree, you have also taken the initiative to obtain a National Fire
Protection Association (NFPA) certification as a Fire Protection Specialist (CFPS).
The outgoing Fire Prevention Officer (FPO), who held the position for nearly 20 years, bids you good luck. As he turns to
leave the office, he offers these cryptogrammic words, “don’t rock any boats kid!” You settle into your new position with
ease, though the division secretary is a bit uneasy having a new “boss.” You have assured her that “there will not be
‘major’ changes within the division.” Your first two weeks are filled with routine inspections and re-inspections, where you
find no surprises or anomalies. In fact, most of the owners/operators of those occupancies that you re-inspected found
you to be highly knowledgeable, relaxed, and very personable. They gave you high marks and look forward to having an
opportunity to meet you again.
On Wednesday morning of your third week, you have a scheduled appointment for an annual inspection of a small
industrial occupancy that is owned and operated by a highly respected member of the community. The firm has been in
operation since the 1980s, and the owner is a member of nearly all the local business civic organizations as well as major
contributor to charities. You cannot recall any negative press about this man nor his business. You arrive at the firm at the
appointed hour of 9:00 a.m., only to find that the front door to the building is locked, and it appears that no one is on the
premises. You call your office to double-check the appointment time with the secretary, who confirms the time; however,
she ends her conversation with, “You know this man has never given us any trouble, so why not let the inspection pass?”
As you end the call, her words are somewhat disconcerting, leaving you with an onerous feeling that something is not
quite right. You return to your vehicle deciding to wait a bit longer. While sitting in your vehicle, you review the historical
file on this occupancy. Much to your surprise, you find that there has never been a single violation and that the company
is a firm utilizing chemicals for cleaning automotive parts. In nearly 30 years of annual inspections, there is not even the
slightest issue in the record. This is very unusual for a firm reported as storing large drums of volatile chemicals.
At around 10:15 a.m., a car enters into the parking area, parks near the front door, and a man in his mid-fifties or earlysixties
emerges and walks to the front door. You exit your vehicle, walking toward the man who has not taken his eyes off
you and whose facial expressions indicate that he does not recognize you. As you approach the man, you introduce and
identify yourself as the newly appointed FPO of the department. He shakes your hand and asks, “Well now, what can I do
to make your day run a bit smoother?”
You inform him that you are onsite to conduct the annual occupancy inspection. He sneers and states, “There isn’t a need
for that! After all, I run a well-respected business here. Didn’t the other inspector tell you about me? He never had any
issues with my firm, and he and I got along just fine. The place is clean, so why don’t we just call it a day and log me in as
having passed the inspection? What do you say?” You cannot believe what you have just heard. You maintain your
professionalism and inform the owner that you have to conduct annual inspections of all industrial occupancies and an
appointment was made for today.
The owner scoffs at the “appointment,” telling you that the former inspector “made the appointment as a matter of record
as he had done for years, but didn’t bother to come here, unless of course he had gotten complaints, which he never did!
So why bother?” You inform the owner that this is your obligation and responsibility to inspect the firm as it is known to
store highly flammable liquids, which abuts a residential area. For the safety of the firm and those who live nearby, an
inspection must be completed.
The owner becomes indignant, and his demeanor changes from sociable to confrontational. He insists that his company
has an excellent “track record” without incident or complaint by neighbors. Still, you apprise him that under local ordinance
and state codes, you must conduct the inspection to ensure that any and all hazards are in compliance with established
rules and regulations. After a bit of bantering back-and-forth, he concedes and allows you to enter into the premises. In
short order, you commence your inspection of the occupancy.
What you find is not only alarming, but unimaginable. There are open 55-gallon drums of petro-based liquids that, to the
best of your ability, you identify as highly flammable and toxic. The ventilation system is inadequate for safe removal of
vapors that are generated by the 15 cleaning process stations. You find that the local fire alarm system has been
tampered with, so that interior early-detection devices are rendered inoperable. There is not an automatic fire sprinkler
system, despite the fact that fire codes have required such a system in all industrial occupancies since 1975, and this
FIR 3303, Introduction to Fire Prevention 6
building was built in 1982. You find only three handheld portable fire extinguishers, which are all dry chemical, that are
outdated by four years.
As you continue your self-guided inspection tour, the owner continues his commentary that he has never had any
complaints from workers or neighbors about how he has run his business. You are cautious and do not share your
findings as of yet. Upon completion of your inspection, you have noted well over 45 violations of standards and codes
applicable to this specific occupancy and operation. As you leave, you inform him that his firm is in violation of numerous
regulations and that it may become necessary to shut the firm down until the occupancy is brought up to code. The owner
of course becomes highly irate and states, “That’s what you think! I am well connected in this city! I put people into high
places, and you aren’t about to close me down! We shall see who has the final word here!”
Shaken, yet very confident the law is on your side, you return to our office to prepare a series of documents necessary to
begin the process of addressing the list of violations. You reconfirm that all violations can be cited by chapter and section
of all applicable laws, regulations, and codes. You are now set to write the necessary documents, which will be distributed
to individuals in both the public and private sector.
For the first part of this assignment, you will need to pick one of the following options, and draft a letter. Please click here
to see an example of how a letter of this nature may be formatted.
A letter of notification must first be sent to the owner of the firm, informing him of the individual violations and the
required remedy for each violation. In addition, you must inform him that until all violations have been remedied,
the firm is to remain closed and no one is allowed to enter the building.
A letter of notification must be sent to the mayor of the city informing that office that you have ordered operations
be halted at this firm due to your findings. (This letter is part of a city ordinance requirement).
For the second part of the assignment, you will need to pick two of the following options, and draft two memos. Please
click here see an example of how a memo of this nature may be formatted.
1. A memo of notification must be sent to inform the Chief of the Department of your findings and the action you
2. A memo of notification must be sent to inform the Chief of Police that the firm has been closed due to violations
found during your inspection. You are also advising that patrol officers should take notice to report any activity
around or inside the building, as the building has been placed off-limits until all violations have been remedied.
3. A memo of notification must be sent to inform the City Building Inspector of the order to cease operations, citing
your finding of numerous violations, though you do not need to itemize all violations.
There will be a total of one letter and two memos, all of which should be included in one Word document. Each letter
should be written in a professional tone on a single page that is clear and concise to the reader. Each letter should have
the name of the person to whom the letter is addressed, your name and title of Fire Prevention Officer shall be affixed to
the bottom. Your letters should be written in APA format.
Each letter is to be written in left-aligned block format and without paragraph indentations. It is understood that the
inclusion of violations need not be cited; therefore, in-text and reference citations are not necessary.
Information about accessing the Blackboard Grading Rubric for this assignment is provided below.