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How to Craft a Data-driven Budget Proposal

Facts are vital when it comes to making the case for more money

Even as budgets tighten and generational difference shift the emergency services recruitment and retention landscape, communities expect exceptional customer service. Moving organizations forward toward growth and efficiency requires resolute leadership. For such leaders data can be a game-changer, driving decision-making around fiscal accountability and budget needs, strategic planning and other initiatives. Collecting quantitative and qualitative data establishes a factual baseline that serves as a foundation for change. Through organizational needs assessments, leaders can create, plan, implement and evaluate necessary change and justify budgets based on facts, not wants. Our people deserve to understand the “why” behind our decisions, which can have a lasting impact.


Dr. Brett Ellis

Brett Ellis Headshot

Dr. Ellis is a 25-year veteran of the fire service and serves as the Fire Chief for the City of Webster Groves, MO. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Fire Administration from Western Illinois University, a Master’s degree in Leadership and Adolescent Development from Huntington University, and a Doctorate in Education (Transformational Leadership Focus) from Concordia University. As a consultant (AGILE Consulting), Ellis focuses on leadership, firefighter behavioral health, conflict resolution, organizational movement, facilitating assessment centers, and personnel role play based on fire service lawsuits. Dr. Ellis’ doctoral dissertation can be found on ProQuest worldwide which focuses on firefighter behavioral health in relation to traumatic events. He also teaches for the National Fire Academy for the Executive Leadership Program and is an author for Firehouse magazine under their Company Officer Leadership segment.

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