MANAGING RESOURCESLANCASHIRE FIRE SERVICETable of ContentsIntroduction- 3Fire Service Resources- 32.1 Physical Resources- 42.2 Financial Resources- 52.3 Human Resources- 72.4 Knowledge Resources- 8Managing Resources in Lancashire Fire Service- 9Crisis Management in Lancashire Fire Service- 10Conclusion/Recommendation- 12Bibliography- 14IntroductionThe Fire Service has unique management challenges including the need for equipment and personnel to effectively manage emergencies. Members of the fire service risk their lives daily to save lives and property in blazes. Proper management of resources in the fire service is very important as it can affect the performance of the fire fighters and the outcome of the incidents.
The following section provides some information about resources commonly managed by the fire services. It also includes relevant facts about the resources management in the Lancashire Fire Service and analysis of their crisis management approaches. Finally, the paper will conclude with the summary of information collected and recommendation on good resources management practices. Fire Service ResourcesFire services were initially created to suppress fires but today fire services do even more. Because of their success in reducing and coping with fire dangers and their traditional role in ensuring public safety, in addition to budgets constraints in local government, fire service now provide services in the areas of fire prevention, hazardous material incidents, rescue, emergency medical treatment, and emergency management.
A Fire Service essentially involves fire and life safety which necessarily entails managing risks to life and property. All policy and operational decisions about those services represent choices regarding risk. What levels of risk are acceptable, what ways to deal with risk are best, and what resources should be expended to do so. Policy makers decide the acceptable levels of risk and allocation of resources.
Although more resources reduce risks, not all risks can be alleviated, and other services require resources as well (Sternberg & Lipman 2006, p. 341). Management in the fire service includes those processes used to provide an orderly structure to all of the events in the life cycle on an organisation. It is a process of structuring the activities of an organisation is such a way that it achieves efficiency and effectiveness in the use of human and physical resources to protect life and property (Barr & Eversole, 2003, p. 2).
A general rule in the fire service is to gear for the normal, not the extreme. This means, even though there are potential major catastrophes, the fire service only maintain what will be required to handle the ‘normal’ emergencies. Most of the time they only maintained the average resources adequate for their needs and on extreme situations, they understand what resources are required, what resources are available, and under what time frames they must operate (Coleman, 2002, p. 23). In an incident, various resources are needed to assist the fire service in managing the crisis.
Capital resources include local equipment and equipment identified as being available from surrounding agencies or municipalities. Personnel resources are comprised of individuals from within the initial responding agency and those from adjoining municipalities or agencies. Physical Resources The most valuable resources in any fire service are the people who staff its agencies and equipment. Yet no matter how well staffed the fire service or how competent the people, members cannot do their jobs without the necessary physical resources. A fire service uses three types of physical resources, facilities, apparatus, and equipment and supplies.
These resources make it possible for a fire service to work toward its goals. A fire service’s facilities include buildings or areas for personnel, apparatus, equipment, and supplies, administrative offices, communications functions, training facilities, and maintenance. For instance, a fire station in the centre of fire-fighting operations must be maintained correctly so that it remains functional in the future. If the present building is not adequate to meet the fire fighter and community needs, and if funds have not been budgeted to build a new station in the near future, then the service must make the best of the facilities and initiate steps to alleviate some of the problems (Carter & Rausch 2006, p. 273).