The rise and rise of clean, white‐collar (fire‐fighting) work

Merilyn Childs (Director of the Fire Services Research Program, Research Centre for Learning and Social Transformation, University of Western Sydney, Penrith, Australia)
Michael Morris (Project Office Manager, Research Centre for Learning and Social Transformation, University of Western Sydney, Penrith, Australia)
Valerie Ingham (Researcher, Research Centre for Learning and Social Transformation, University of Western Sydney, Penrith, Australia)

Disaster Prevention and Management

ISSN: 0965-3562

Publication date: 1 December 2004

Abstract

Australian newspapers, like those in other first‐world countries, valorise fire‐fighters through images more typically associated with heroic blue‐collar “battlers”: sweat, ash, uniforms and firestorms, punctuated with tales of heroic deeds and personal sacrifice. Yet increasingly, much of the work of fire‐fighters is associated with the grunt of “clean work” – report writing, community engagement, prevention and recovery activities, and so on. This paper considers the changing nature of career fire‐fighters' work in one fire‐fighting organisation in Australia, and the rising importance of “clean” white‐collar work to emergency management.

Keywords

Citation

Childs, M., Morris, M. and Ingham, V. (2004), "The rise and rise of clean, white‐collar (fire‐fighting) work", Disaster Prevention and Management, Vol. 13 No. 5, pp. 409-414. https://doi.org/10.1108/09653560410568534

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Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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