BLUFFTON, SC (WTOC) - Firefighters are used to a pretty one-way relationship with the public, the community calls and they answer.
But now, Bluffton firefighters would like a deeper, more interactive conversation.
"We're going to hear feedback," said Captain Randy Hunter, the public information officer for the Bluffton Township Fire District. "We'll hear what people like and what services we can do to improve."
The Bluffton Township Fire District is looking for volunteers to sit in on a focus group.
They would like to hear from business owners and members of the community who will speak up and let the department know how it could better serve and protect the community.
"A lot of times when we go out and we'll ask people how do you think we're doing and they'll say 'oh, you're doing a fantastic job,'" says Hunter. "And we love to hear that, but we are looking for constructive criticism on where we go. And this is something that will be going on year after year from here out."
The three one-hour focus groups are part of an accreditation process for Bluffton Fire, but it is a different kind of service the district will now offer.
It will be an opportunity for people to speak and firefighters to listen, a way to ensure benefits on both sides of the discussion.
"The overall goal is improvement, better service for our community," said Hunter. "But sometimes the truth hurts. We're not expecting to hear anything too mind blowing, too out of this world. But if we ask for it, we have to be prepared for it."
Especially when what they hear could make them better prepared to do their job.