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Fire and Rescue Services Management Research Paper

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Updated: Apr 11th, 2019

Executive Summary

The proposed research will study the role of the UK fire and rescue Authority especially its international mandate as provided for by the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004. The rationale for the research will be supported by research questions and hypotheses, and developed by the literature review. The latter, as well, will determine the relevance of the research as little scholarly work has been done on the mentioned topic.

To add credibility and reliability to the research findings, qualitative and quantitative methods will be used for data collection and analysis. The proposed research will respect ethical standards of scholarly work. The respective timescale and resource/cost allocation system will also be established for the proposed stock market research.

Problem Statement

The current proposal is developed as the first step in creating a research project on the role of the UK fire and rescue services in determining their international role in matters that requires them to provide their services as dictated by the 2004 Act.

In more detail, the project will seek to inquire about the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004, how it applies in a globalized world, examine the factors that allow for this Act to function effectively and rationally in international emergencies and look into globalization factors that have influenced on how the 2004 Act plays a role in the way the UK fire and rescue Authority plays its role.

In order to get a more clear perspective, the project shall look at how the UK fire and rescue Authority carried out its role in the Haiti earthquake. The data for the research shall be collected from both primary and secondary sources. The primary sources will include interviews from the relevant personnel and Authorities while the secondary sources will include information from past documentations of the UK fire and rescue Authority services (House of Commons, 41).

Aims and Objectives

The aims and objectives of the research project are focused on the analysis of the research problem. In particular, these aims and objectives will be achieved by answering the major research question and the set of minor sub-questions presented in the following list:

  1. What role, if any, does the UK fire and rescue services Authority have towards international disasters
  2. How the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004 influences the role of the UK fire and rescue services
  3. How the UK search and Rescue team operated
  4. How the Fire and rescue services Act 2004 applied in the Haiti earth quake
  5. How this law operates internationally as it applies to the search and rescue teams.
  6. How globalization affects the legislative and substantive work of those in the fire and rescue service.
  7. Ethical considerations are dealt with and the role of the practitioner in a changing world environment.

Research Hypotheses

Further on, the achievement of the aim and objectives of the proposed research will become possible to a great extent thanks to either confirming or rejecting the two hypotheses derived from the topic of this study. So, the first hypothesis is:

H1. The fire and rescue services Act 2004 plays a significant role in the way the UK fire and rescue Authority responds to International emergencies. This hypothesis is developed as an assumption that the framework on which the fire and Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004 was set up took into consideration the role that the UK should play in the global world, particularly is provision of rescue and humanitarian services in times of disasters.

Needless to say, before the actual research is carried out, it is impossible to claim that this assumption is absolutely true. Therefore it is necessary to collect and analyse the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004 in order to be able to either confirm or reject it. Accordingly, the second hypothesis can be formulated as a contradictory point to the first one:

H2. The Fire and rescue services Act 2004 does not dictate the way the UK fire and rescue Authority acts when conducting their mandate in foreign countries but allows them to act in what according to their judgment is the best way forward.

Obviously, it is impossible to either confirm or reject this hypothesis either, and to ensure the objectivity of the proposed research the two opposite hypotheses is developed.

Rationale for Research

Further on, there is a complex rationale for the proposed research on the topic: the role of UK fire and rescue Authority in a globalised world. This rationale consists of three major components:

  1. The need to research on the clauses of the Fire and Rescue services Act 2004 and the role it has towards international emergencies.
  2. The Role the 2004 Act played in the recent Haiti earthquake and how or not it influenced the efficiency of the UK fire and Rescue team in Haiti.
  3. Emphasis the Act has put towards ethics of the UK fire and Rescue Authority.

Accordingly, the current research is proposed because the UK Fire and Rescue has undergone numerous changes and challenges in its bid to cope with international disasters as the UK becomes a key player in international matters.

Methodology

Research Methods

Based on the above considerations, the methodology for the proposed research will include a combination of the survey and a case study, while the aims of both will be to identify the role of the UK fire and rescue services in international matters.

The proposed research will use the method of longitudinal study to collect and analyse the performance of the UK Fire and rescue Services in other international disasters around the world. The data collection methods will include a review of primary and secondary sources of information regarding the UK Fire and rescue as well as observation of the policies that have enhanced its development a certain period of time (Hianes 61).

Analysis Methods

Subsequently, the proposed study will use a mix of qualitative and quantitative research methods to operate. Finally, all changes in the governance of the UK Fire and Rescue Services will be studied and related, if possible, to the dynamics of the globalized worlds.

Ethical Considerations

Ethical considerations are also vital for any research project. This point acquires special importance when the projects focus on topics in which work with people are the main task. Therefore as the research project targets people, the research has to be conducted ethically taking into consideration the different beliefs and practices that people have especially during emergencies.

Timescale

As has already been stated above, the approximate time frame for the proposed research is expected to be three months. This means that the research will be carried out and its results will be expressed in the dissertation paper between August and September, 2010. The preliminary timescale of the proposed research is as follows:

Activity Timeframe
Development of the research proposal September, 2010
Refining and perfecting the research proposal September, 2010
Conducting the literature review September, 2010
Analysis of the UK fire and Rescue Authority October, 2010
Analysis of the Fire and Rescue Services Act October, 2010
Analysis of current globalization issues in light of emergencies, Haiti November, 2010
Study of the ethical issues when dealing with international emergencies November, 2010
Drawing conclusions from the research December, 2010
Writing and submitting the final Research project December, 2010

Resources and Costs Involved

One of the advantages of the proposed research will be its cost-effectiveness and little demand of resources. Basically, all the resources that the proposed research needs are time and effort by its authors. The longitudinal study requires much time to be spent on recording and analysing the UK Fire and Services Authority as it delivers rescue and humanitarian services around the world.

As well, considerable time will be taken by the process of putting all the research findings on paper and making it into a completed research project. Concerning the costs of the proposed research, they are minimal, and include only the expenses for potential travel, the use of the Internet and other minor costs.

Literature Review

The review of the literature on the selected topic is a rather challenging task. As has been stated above, there has not been much research specifically on the UK Fire and Rescue services in relation to the Fire and Rescue services Act 2004 and how globalizations factors have influenced the legislative of the Act (Lincon 124).

One of the natural disasters that UK’s international search and rescue team offered its services is during the Haiti earthquake in January, 2010 where an estimated number of 100,000 are thought to have died. In an effort to help the victims of Haiti’s earthquake, the international community sent out help to the country with the UK sending out an assessment team to the disaster area.

With the levels of casualties and injuries being high, there was a critical need to find and save the survivors and therefore a great need for search and rescue teams as well as humanitarian requirements on the ground (Middleton 138).

As aid continued arriving into Haiti, firefighters from all over Britain were mobilized and sent out to help in saving the lives of citizens from the disaster areas. In fact, the first of the UK’s search and rescue team which was made up of 64 firefighters from Gatwick was already searching for survivors in the collapsed streets of Port-au-Prince within 48 hours after the Haiti earthquake (Smith 103).

They were then followed by other firefighters, from across the UK’s fire and rescue service that had been grouped into six operating teams. They were equipped with technologically advanced equipments as well as two dogs that are specially trained to deal with such disasters.

The dogs, Holly and Echo had been trained by doing a mock-up of a collapsed village and this had adequately prepared them to rescue survivors, which they did for eleven days. The UK rescue team was able to pull out several survivors from the rubble; among the rescued was Mia, a two year old girl. This survivor was rescued by the Greater Manchester and Mid-Wales brigades who exhibited their expertise in international rescue services (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 39).

Due to their first success the team leader, Andy noted “finding Mia alive was unbelievable moment for us (UK team) on the first day in the streets.” However Andy was quick to note that “Part of our training was done on a mock-up of a collapsed village but that scale of that disaster could not be compared to the mock –up training”.

Nevertheless, the UK disaster and rescue services were able to carry out a successful rescue and recovery operation despite the hurdles they faced due to the scale of damage all over the country, due to this Andy noted that “it was a massive honor to be part of the UK team in Haiti” (Trotman 87).

However this operation was carried out following certain rules and regulations that were set out by the UK fire and rescue Act 2004. This Act provides for guidelines on four core issues on which the UK fire department is charged with in their mandate. They include; fire safety, fire-fighting, road traffic accidents and emergencies.

Though the Haiti earthquake disaster was an international one and did not fall within UKs jurisdiction, still this Act was put into action in the Haiti rescue operation by the UK team. Therefore this apart from serving the local jurisdiction it is also operational in international jurisdictions. The team in particular focused on Fire safety, Emergencies and other provisions as provided by the 2004 Act.

Under the Fire Safety provision of the Act, the UK team was supposed to provide information, and encourage the locals and administration to take steps in preventing fires or injury as a result of fire, which was likely due to gas pipes leaks and other flammables that were exposed after the earth quake, in order to do this, the team was supposed to give advice when requested by the locals or Haitian authorities on how to prevent fires from erupting in risky places for example the gas stations and other destroyed factories and in addition provide advice on how the people should escape in case a fire erupted in their buildings or in their make shift camps after the disaster struck (Pelling 56).

Nevertheless, the most applicable clause was the one under Emergencies. Under this clause, the secretary of State has the power to authorize the fire and rescue authority on what constitutes an emergency and by order, authorizes them to act on the situation, which is what happened in the Haiti case.

The secretary noted that “We need to get search and rescue teams on the ground. Every hour matters. There will be humanitarian requirements for food, shelter and sanitation. It is critical to co-ordinate the international effort,” he further added “This is a terrible tragedy and we are determined to do what we can to help. We have 64 British fire-fighters going out from Gatwick” (Haslam 123).

In doing so the UK government was acting under the power given to it by the 2004 Act, which enabled the secretary to confer other function to the fire and rescue authority other than those which were defined in the Act. Therefore after the order has been given by the secretary, the authority is supposed, under the provisions of the clause, coordinate personnel, services and equipment to be used in the international mission.

Since it was an international mission it was important to ensure that the operation was well coordinated between the various international rescues services that were heading out to Haiti.

Therefore, to avoid a situation where all the rescue teams turned up with the same services and equipments, the UK fire and rescue team under the directions of the Secretary, made up a rescue plan whereby they got in touch with other countries, for instance the USA to make sure that they specialized in other different area of the operation as noted by Secretary Alexander “we have to work with others to make sure everyone does not turn up with the same equipment.”.

Section 3(b) of the Act provides for training of fire and rescue personnel in dealing with a wide variety of disasters which as noted above, the UK team had undergone some mock-up training in a collapsed village which enabled them deal with the earthquake disaster which had similar circumstances.

In addition under, section, 3 (c), (d) and (e) the authority was required to carry out their operations with due diligence to ensure their objectives were carried out successful and professionally while at the same time, ensuring that no or minimum damage is done onto property as they carry out their operations.

But more importantly in the Haiti operation, section (c) and (d) was very applicable as it called for the team to be competent in answering distress calls to those trapped in the rubble and to the general public, avail information on the happenings and the situation on the ground as it was.

Therefore as depicted, the UK team followed this Act accordingly as shown in the way the answered to distress calls from the people trapped underground resulting in saving a lot of lives. In addition, whenever a survivor was rescued or bodies discovered the team coordinated the information using the relevant channels.

For instance when the little girl was rescued in the early hours of the teams arrival in Haiti, the team leader gave out the information to the public which was very encouraging to the rescue team and the public, nevertheless the team leader did not fall short in asking the public to remembering the 500 or so people who perished in the building. Therefore the team leader was informing the public on their achievements while providing the authorities with figures of victims who perished.

In addition apart from the powers vested in the secretary to declare a particular situation an emergency, the fire and rescue authority is mandate to take any action it considers necessary in a particular situation.

As indicated it is no doubt that the 2004 Act is applicable in international missions since the Act allows for the fire and rescue authority under the mandate of the Secretary of State to act outside UKs’ jurisdiction.

The Emergencies clause has indicated how this mandate is to be carried out. However the Act also acknowledges the different dynamics and complexities in rescue missions internationally as indicated by the UK rescue team leader who noted that although they had undergone mock-up training of similar circumstances, the situation on the ground in Haiti was very much complex than anticipated though they were able to successfully carry out the mission.

Therefore in recognition of this, the Act has provided for a clause that empowers the fire and rescue Authority to respond to other eventualities. Therefore while in Haiti the team was empowered to respond appropriately to circumstances that called for their immediate action.

This is indicated under the “power to respond to other eventualities” section 1 and 2 while section 3 empowers the authority to proved for necessary equipments while section 4 confers them with the power to act outside a given authority’s area, in this case internationally.

However, as the world becomes globalized there has been a lot of changes in how countries inter rely on one another in different situations. These inter-country relations have changed the way some issues are carried, for instance economically, technologically and in humanitarian services. Hence, globalization has influenced how legislative laws are drafted. In this situation legislative laws governing the fire and rescue Authority are drafted while taking into consideration the global village.

For instance, the 2004 Act takes into consideration the different economies around the world whereby one country may not be in a position to have enough or capable equipments to carry out rescue and fire services, hence countries have drafted laws that allows their fire and rescue services be able to provide countries in need with this vital equipments and also for them be able to carry and use them during their operations abroad (Haslam 187).

In addition, the Fire and Rescue Authority legislations have allowed them to undertake humanitarian activities around the world whenever need arises, hence apart from taking part in rescue and recovery operations, if the situation calls for humanitarian services, for instance delivery of safe water, food or medicine, the Authority has the mandate to act as indicated under the “power to respond to other eventualities” clause section 1 and 2.

Also the Fire and Rescue Authority is empowered to provide and use technologically-assisted rescue methods in their operations even though the country lacks the technology. Thus, they can transfer technology used in their home countries and used in other countries. Thus in response to this and globalization, countries around the world have drafted legislations that allow for fast, efficient and profession rescue services by their respective governments (The source for critical information and insight np).

Practitioners of these valuable services are required to carry out their work with outmost diligence, respect and ethics as required by his/her professionalism. Therefore, in instances where a practitioner fails to uphold ethics, the Authority has measures in place that serve to discipline the practitioner.

Works Cited

Haslam, Carl. Fire Service. UK Fire Service Resources Group. 2009. Web.

Hianes, Fiona. Globalization and regulatory character: regulatory reforms. London: Ashgate Publishing, 2005. Print.

House of Commons. The Fire and Rescue Service: Session 2005-06. London: The Stationery Office, 2006. Print.

Lincon, Elizabeth. Fire and Services Act 2004. London: The stationery office, 2004. Print.

Middleton, Neil. Disaster and development; the politics of Humanitarian Aid. St, Annandale: Pluto press,1997. Print.

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Large-scale disasters: lessons learned. Paris: OECD Publishing, 2004. Print.

Pelling, Mark. Natural disasters and development in a globalizing World. New York: Routledge, 2003. Print.

Smith, David. Jamaica. Information on disaster risk management case study of five: Jamaica. Mexico City: United Nations and IDB, 2007. Print.

The source for critical information and insight. Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004. Health & Safety News Brief Occupational Health & Safety Information Service (OHSIS) November 2004. 2004. Web.

Trotman, Smith . Fire Service. Richmond, Surrey TW Crimson Publishing, 2001. Print.

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