Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004
The fire and rescue services act is a law that was enacted in 2004 and applies to all practitioners in the fire and rescue field in the United Kingdom. This act has got four main functions, and these are to ensure fire safety, effective fire fighting, response to emergencies, and control of road traffic accidents (Barzilai, 2008).
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Considering fire safety, the law requires that any appointed authority in charge of fire safety, as well as other rescue services, make provisions for the promotion of fire safety in the areas under their authority. It can only be done if it provides adequate guidelines to the public on how fire safety can be enhanced and how the effects of fire can be contained. Information on how fire spread and property destruction can be prevented in incases of a fire outbreak and how individuals can rescue themselves from those sites is also vital.
In case of fire outbreak, these law requires that all the authorities in charge of fire and rescue services be prepared for fire-fighting by ensuring that it is in a position to put off all fire outbreaks in its area as well as making sure that both life and property are safe. To achieve all this, it requires that the authority in charge of fire and rescue services be sufficient in terms of personnel, tools, and equipment for fire fighting. They should enhance this by providing for the training of personnel, how to summon the personnel in case of an emergency call, and how to deal with such calls of help. Proper arrangements should be made on how all this information should be dealt with (Barzilai, 2008).
Considering the road traffic accidents, the fire and rescue authority is required by law to make provisions that will see people rescued and serious injuries prevented in the event of tragic road accidents in their area. To do this, it is mandatory that proper channels of communication be set for quick response to calls of help and that the rescue authority need appropriate personnel, tools, and equipment to perform such services. These need a good provision for training as well as management of information including the summoning of personnel to incase of emergence. It means that the law provides for other forms of rescues apart from fire.
Other than fires and road accidents, the law also provides for emergencies as follows. Provided the functions of the authority under sections 7 and 8 are valid, the secretary of state may assign other tasks to the fire and rescue authority arising unexpectedly by order, and, when this happens, it may require that the authority discharges such functions outside its area of management. It means that in case of emergencies other than fire and road accidents, any fire and rescue authority in the United Kingdom should always be prepared to be called upon to give help.
Therefore, the law demands the authorities appointed to be in charge of fire and rescue services make necessary provisions for training their working staff, dealing with emergency calls, summoning personnel, and acquiring the information and equipment needed for various emergencies. It will ensure that there is little damage while discharging their functions. Order like the provision of particular equipment for emergencies should be expected under this section.
However, it is a very important step for the secretary of state to consult with appropriate authorities before giving any order to any authority. Considering this section, the law now allows the fire and rescue teams in the United Kingdom to exercise their duties outside their area of authority, and this includes outside the United Kingdom (Barzilai, 2008).
Considering the Haiti earthquake, the law is very clear that this is an international emergency that expects help from all corners of the world. Being one of the rescue teams of the United Kingdom, we are determined to exercise one of our responsibilities is responding to emergency calls other than fire and road accidents in our area of management provided that the secretary of state in consultation with other appropriate authorities has conferred this as an order considering the provisions of section 7 and 8.
By doing so, it will be legal for our team to take part in the rescue services needed in Haiti following the tragic earthquake that occurred, and this will be an international form of operation legally provided by the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004. The services needed in Haiti are urgent, and it is like a race against time. All parts of the world are expected to donate their services, and the international community is expected to coordinate these donations to get varied forms of support needed.
Haiti being a poor country is so desperate for help from the international community in terms of the rescue of life, property, need for shelter, food, medical services, among other requirements. The United Kingdom is not an exemption since the law gives us (fire and rescue teams) a go ahead and offer our services outside the areas assigned to us while responding to emergencies.
Although this is a risky venture, the law still provides for our rescue team to engage in such activities even if they can cause harm, death, or makes some of our personnel ill as provided in sections 7 and 8 being the power to respond to other eventualities (Barzilai, 2008). Therefore our team will carry out this service legally and will coordinate with other teams from the United Kingdom as well as other parts of the international community to ensure that life and property are rescued in Haiti.
How globalization affects the legislative and substantive work of those in the fire and rescue service
Globalization can be described, as striving to integrate economies, cultures as well as societies using a worldwide network of communication layouts and trade. The issue of transport also plays an important role in the realization of globalization (Murray, 2006). Several factors contribute to various forms of globalization and how they affect the legislative and substantive work of practitioners in the fire and rescue service.
Considering economic globalization, the global market has been set up to permit the international community the freedom to exchange goods and other forms of products worldwide. Due to this economic globalization, the practitioners in the fire and rescue services have been able to carry out their work freely without restriction to save on economic globalization.
Due to economic globalization, a lot of links have been established between countries and due to these links, countries facing emergencies like fire outbreaks, earthquakes among other eventualities can now get immediate help globally to save on economic downgrade since fall in the economy of one region affects other regions as well. It has enabled fire and rescue services practitioners to carry out their services globally without restrictions (Murray, 2006).
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In political globalization, there has been the formation of world governments to spearhead all eventualities that arise globally. The US has enjoyed this type of globalization, being the superpower and recognized worldwide. The global government has helped the fire and rescue service practitioners carry out their work legislatively by enacting laws that give them freedom and the required support to carry out their duties globally.
Political globalization has encouraged togetherness among countries of the world and, therefore, in case of any tragedy that requires rescue services, the whole world is ready to introduce their fire and rescue teams to save the situation. Considering the Haiti eventuality, the world led by the United Kingdom, donated several necessities to assist the victims of the earthquake, including the fire and rescue teams to save life and property (Murray, 2006).
Considering military globalization, it has come to a point where the international community is ready to produce military to areas that need assistance in terms of wars, natural calamities, and other emergencies. The fire and rescue teams being part of the military operations have been awarded this freedom to carry out their duties globally and substantially without any restrictions. The fire and rescue services are deployed in different areas of the world where assistance is needed to save life and rescue properties (Murray, 2006).
Cultural globalization means that there is a cross of culture globally, and there is no form of cultural discrimination whatsoever. Due to this, the fire and rescue service providers have been able to carry out their work globally in all corners of the world irrespective of their cultural backgrounds. It has encouraged global interaction and assistance in terms of service provision. The best example is the Haiti earthquake, where the United Kingdom being of different cultures led the rescue services in the country following the disastrous eventuality producing several of its fire and rescue teams to save life and property. It would not be the case if there were cultural discriminations, and the fire and rescue teams would not have been able to carry out their work substantially and legislatively, as witnessed in the Haiti earthquakes (Murray, 2006).
Technological globalization means that there is even growth and spread of technology globally. It means that most of the world regions are growing in terms of technology and that in case of any emergency or eventuality, the appropriate technology is in place to rescue the situation. Technological globalization has made the work of the fire and rescue teams easy as they have developed the required equipment and trained the required personnel to handle all forms of emergencies globally whenever the need arises. Most of the fire and rescue teams are now equipped with the appropriate technology to carry out their work substantially as expected (Murray, 2006).
Humanitarian globalization deals with aspects of social aid, ethical considerations, and religious perceptions. Due to this kind of globalization, the fire and rescue teams have been able to provide their support in terms of humanitarian aid like food, shelter, and medical services to rescue those suffering from various tragedies. Due to global ethical considerations, all human being is entitled to life and property protection. They need to be protected, and this has legally made it possible for the fire and rescue teams to carry out their duties globally without restrictions (Murray, 2006).
How ethical considerations are dealt with in the fire and rescue services
Ethical considerations are rules or codes that govern the way a profession exercises its duties. Ethical considerations are very vital in the fire and rescue services and need to be dealt with accordingly. Ethical considerations involve recognition of human rights and protection of the reputation of the fire and rescue services when discharging their roles. It also involves good relations with the community that requires their services. The fire and rescue services deal with these ethical considerations in many ways (Beauchamp, 2001).
First, they establish a code of ethics that is implemented and strictly followed by all members of the team. Here, the team is required to be committed and provide work conditions that are safe to all workers with no discrimination and harassment whatsoever. Such an environment need to value diversity (Smith, 2007). While carrying out their work, the fire and rescue team members need to treat every individual equally with dignity and exercise respect for all individuals.
There should be open communication at all times, and the communication needs to be honest. The members of the rescue team need to continuously seek available opportunities that can make them learn and improve on the way they offer their rescue services, especially in ethical considerations. There is also a set of ethical goals that need to be met, and this makes all members responsible and performs their duties within the ethical standards expected.
The performance is evaluated, and the results of the evaluation are provided so that positive change can be effected as far as ethical considerations are concerned. This allows for improvement in terms of ethical considerations as exercised by the members of the fire and rescue teams. In a post-incident situation like war or conflicts, the members of the fire and rescue teams are trained on how to ethically unite the conflicting parties so that no more harm is caused and ensure the maximum rescue of life, property, and protection to the environment (Smith, 2007).
The members of the fire and rescue teams are expected to keep any information concerning the operation, management, and exercise of its duties confidential. It will prevent any leakage of information that is not pleasant in the face of the public, and this will save a lot on the reputation of the team. Failure to adhere to this, the fire and rescue services are prone to damage in terms of reputation, and there is a likelihood of cropping up of weird relationships with the public or with individuals they offer their services to (Beauchamp, 2001).
Apart from the code of ethics, the fire and rescue services deal with ethical considerations by ensuring that all their members take an oath as follows. The team is dedicated to the protection and saving of life as well as property from fire and other emergencies that will require their services. Considering this, all members will dedicate themselves and perform their work within the ethical principles professionally, and everyone is expected to maintain personal integrity of the highest standard, especially in terms of being straightforward and honesty when assisting. Everyone is also expected never to engage in any act contrary to the responsibilities assigned to him or her.
By this, no one is expected to engage in activities that will discredit the reputation of the fire and rescue service whatsoever. When carrying out the life and property saving actions, all the team members are expected to do this to all and with no form of discrimination. Everyone is expected to put his or her interests aside and put the community safety and that of the firefighters first while discharging his or her responsibilities to protect the environment. Other vows involve efforts to maintain physical fitness to be able to discharge all the responsibilities assigned, including being creative and innovative to handle diversified forms of emergencies. Above all, it is expected that excellence must be achieved and breakthrough earned for every eventuality that occurs (Beauchamp, 2001).
Considering the Haiti situation, the earthquake came unexpectedly, and fire and rescue teams were expected to give help and rescue life and property within the moral and ethical standards expected. All the victims were to be treated equally and those stuck in the building were to be rescued as an exercise of their right to life and protection.
Summary of the role of the fire and rescue services in a changing world environment
The world environment is changing, and the fire and rescue services have got a role to play in this. In summary, the fire and rescue services have played three major roles in the changing world environment.
The first one is technological advocacy. A good number of fire and rescue services have embraced an increase in terms of technological advancement, and this includes coming up with advanced tools and equipment that assist in fire and rescue services. These include gadgets that are capable of detecting smoke and carbon monoxide. Such gadgets produce alarm sounds when they detect such substances. Another one is systems of sprinklers that help put off the fire. In terms of information technology, some of the fire and rescue services have gone a step further to incorporate the use of radio communications that are advanced and thermal imaging as well as record systems that are automated (Tausch, 2009).
Specialization is another role that fire rescue services have played in the changing world. Many of the bodies have come up with different departments, each with a specialized role. It is what we call the division of labor, and it brings specialization. One department may specialize in fire suppressing fire outbreaks while the other in giving urgent medical attention services required. It has ensured effective service delivery in this changing world with no conflict of ranks (Tausch, 2009).
Then there is the establishment of partnerships. Many fire and rescue services are combining efforts to ensure effective services to emergencies. A combination of effort ensures effective and efficient service delivery compared to when one rescue team is involved (Tausch, 2009).
Taking an example of the Haiti earthquake, a combination of efforts from fire and rescue services all over the world led to the attainment of mutual aid that saved a lot of property and life compared to when it could just be one team.
Barzilai, G., 2008. The fire and rescue law in United Kingdom. International law journal, 12 (14), pp. 395–416.
Beauchamp, T., 2001. Principles of Ethics. New York: Oxford University Press.
Murray, E., 2006. Geographies of Globalization. New York: Routledge.
Smith, D., 2007. Disaster risk management. Mexico: Adams publishers.
Tausch, A., 2009. The role of fire and rescue services. New York: Nova Science Publishers.