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The University City Fire and Rescue Department (UCFR) is a number of administrative, educational, training, and other bodies and units intended for the organization of fire prevention and other rescue activities. The corresponding members of the department are to ensure the security of citizens, property, give first aid to victims of fires and other natural disasters, and, in general, carry out the primary rescue operations related to firefighting activities.
The department is organized to provide a platform for fire-technical, educational, and technical institutions. The work of the department includes processing the information about an accident, space exploration, rescue work, deployment of forces and resources, and the elimination of the dangerous incident, specialized works, and work for the security of the community.
Organization and Structure
The department has a well-aligned structure (please see the Organizational Chart attached). When performing the activities for neutralizing dangerous occurrences, the necessary proceedings include steps to ensure the safety of people, the creation of conditions for preventing the development of fires, and ensuring their elimination. In addition, the department makes use of means of communication, transport equipment; it is empowered to limit or restrict access to the dangerous locations as well as to restrict traffic and pedestrian access to the adjacent territories, and evacuate people.
The Chief of the fire suppression team is responsible for performing activities for the security of the personnel of the fire brigade involved in the implementation of actions for firefighting or elimination of a dangerous manifestation. The captain sets the boundaries of the territory in which the brigade performs fire-extinguishing activities. If necessary, the head of the fire extinguishing team takes other decisions, including restricting the rights of officials and citizens in the affected territory.
According to the department vision, it “is largely dependent upon the ability to attract, develop, and retain highly-skilled, talented, and motivated members” (University City fire & rescue department, n.d., p. 5). It strives for furnishing the best service for the community. The organization keeps its focus on social values while simultaneously relying on its own values and organizational culture. In addition, the disclosure of the principle of leadership and a distinct policy is crucial in department vision. The mission of the department is to react to “fires, medical emergencies, disasters, and other calls for service” (University City fire & rescue department, n.d., p. 5).
Further, it operates to secure the lives and property of all the people in the corresponding area. The goals of the organization include supporting the legislation on all the levels and attracting a qualified workforce. It aims at promoting and achieving diversity, which is integral in the department’s philosophy. Apart from that, one of the UCFR’s goals is to provide the workers with the potential for development on every level.
The streamline of the department’s objectives is the focus on social values, understanding of key competencies, and autonomy. Department culture is a form of existence of the organization and its behavior in the environment as well as in relation to the aspects of the internal environment. It combines beliefs, behaviors, attitudes, and values that define the ways the department, its structural units, and members shall perform. One of the most crucial aspects of the department culture is a diversity statement (University City fire & rescue department, n.d.). It implies that the organization facilitates diversity in all its aspects and encourages its members and associates to support the differences in people regarding their background and so on. The support for diversity is evidenced by different department initiatives on the management and organizational scale.
Credentialing is intended to help to improve fire control activities, recruitment, professional development, and placement of specialists on fire supervision determining their compliance with the qualification requirements and position (University City fire & rescue department, n.d.).
Credentialing defines the qualification requirements for the employees performing functions for the implementation of fire control that is also applied to officials of the management bodies and units that are endowed with the rights to implement the fire inspection. It also involves the basic provisions that allow for the optimal specialization of employees. It reflects the basic requirements for the employees regarding their expertise and knowledge of laws and regulations, instructions, and other issues in terms of the safety requirements.
Apart from the direct duties, the department is responsible for the execution of emergency management. Incident Action Plans and Incident Management System contribute to the effective organization of UCFR as it facilitates hierarchy within the department (University City fire & rescue department, n.d.). They also allow establishing common response, control, and adjustment to the emergencies. Plans and Systems facilitate comprehensive resource management and unified structure.
In general, emergency management includes a set of works in the emergency area that involves saving and helping people, localization, and suppression of the centers of the damaging effects, preventing the occurrence of secondary damaging factors, the protection, and rescue of material and cultural values. Emergency and other urgent work are related to the salvation of people and victim assistance, locating accidents and damage repair, impeding rescue operations, creating conditions for subsequent reconstruction.
The role of the department is to develop and implement organizational and practical measures aimed at ensuring security. In addition, it is engaged in the organization and implementation of fire control as well as the observance and fulfillment of fire safety requirements established by the current legislation, standards, rules and regulations, and regulatory legal acts in the field of fire safety (16 firefighter life safety initiatives, n.d.).
Providing training and interaction with the authorities and entities responsible for the safety of facilities and areas are also functions of the department. It should be noted that the strategic planning process of the UCFR is aimed at improving both external and internal communications. It is community-driven and implies community education and employment support to achieve the best of outcomes. It is concerned with connecting all the stakeholders by implementing the mission, vision, goals, and objectives of the organization to achieve consistency.
The department executes leadership from the point of view of the life safety initiatives by determining the necessity for cultural changes within the community, boosting accountability for safety, and placing emphasis on incident management; thus, achieving more effective emergency management and consistency in service provision.
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The following 16 life safety initiatives shall be listed (16 firefighter life safety initiatives, n.d.):
- Determine the necessity of cultural changes within the community.
- Boost accountability for safety.
- Place emphasis on incident management.
- Firefighters shall be delegated authority to halt unsafe behavior.
- Set and apply the unified requirements for the level of expertise for all firefighters.
- Set the unified standards related to physical fitness for all firefighters.
- Develop state-level agenda and information gathering in terms of the initiatives implementation.
- Make use of the technology to enhance safety.
- Conduct a research regarding all cases of firefighter fatalities and traumas.
- Grant programs need to aid in the application of the activity as admissibility request.
- State-level standards shall be established regarding emergency reaction.
- State-level protocols shall be developed.
- All the firefighters, as well as their family members, shall have an opportunity to get psychological aid.
- More resources shall be allocated to the education.
- Propaganda shall be reinforced regarding sprinkler installation.
- Safeness must be the leading reason when constructing apparatus.
16 firefighter life safety initiatives. (n.d.). Web.
University City fire & rescue department. (n.d.). Web.