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Article
Publication date: 20 January 2012

Chandrakantan Subramaniam, Hassan Ali and Faridahwati Mohd Shamsudin

The purpose of this paper is to identify the initial emergency response time of fire fighting teams in Malaysia.

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963

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify the initial emergency response time of fire fighting teams in Malaysia.

Design/methodology/approach

In an emergency incident time is of the essence, and the basic philosophy of an emergency response agency is to respond as quickly as possible to minimize the loss of life and property damage. In the current study, emergency response performance refers to team members' speed in responding to emergency situations, which was measured as the time taken for the team members to get to the fire truck from the waiting room in selected fire stations in Malaysia. The data collection period lasted for five months.

Findings

This study found that the overall average initial emergency response time was 84 seconds, while the overall average weighted initial emergency response time was 3.71 seconds per meter. The current study has demonstrated that the average initial emergency response performed by fire fighting teams in Malaysia is apparently better than that reported by previous studies by other emergency responders.

Originality/value

This paper presents empirical evidence of the initial emergency response time of fire fighters in Malaysia, by taking into account the distance traveled by the responders. As such, the performance measure obtained gives a meaningful indicator. The finding of the current study is then compared to emergency response performance by other emergency response agencies in other countries.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 25 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

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Article
Publication date: 3 May 2016

Marit Skar, Maria Sydnes and Are Kristoffer Sydnes

When emergencies occur, ordinary members of the public are often the first to respond. However, their use and integration in emergency response remain a challenge. The…

Abstract

Purpose

When emergencies occur, ordinary members of the public are often the first to respond. However, their use and integration in emergency response remain a challenge. The purpose of this paper is to explore mechanisms and strategies for integrating unorganized volunteers in emergency response.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a qualitative case study. A series of anonymized, semi-structured interviews were conducted with representatives of the key emergency response organizations – the police, ambulance service, fire and rescue service, and the Red Cross, located in the city of Tromsø. In addition, regulatory documents used by these organizations were examined, including laws, contingency plans, procedural handbooks and checklists.

Findings

Professional responders acknowledge the resource unorganized volunteers may represent when additional capacity is needed. However, being uncertain about their availability and competence, professional responders find it hard to integrate unorganized volunteers through formal mechanisms as contingency planning and exercises, but rather rely on informal and individual case-by-case considerations. The local Red Cross, who are part of the established response system, are developing procedures to integrate unorganized volunteers through training, exercises and response operations. This provides an innovative hybrid approach to volunteer management.

Originality/value

Available research provides limited information and advice on how to integrate unorganized volunteers effectively in emergencies. This study provides insights in formal and informal mechanisms of integrating unorganized volunteers in emergency response. It also provides lessons from a case of volunteer management through the Red Cross.

Details

International Journal of Emergency Services, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2047-0894

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Article
Publication date: 18 May 2015

Monique L. French, Ying Fan and Gary L. Stading

This paper aims to develop a conceptual model for future theory building and provides guidance to emergency managers by identifying important organizational factors…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to develop a conceptual model for future theory building and provides guidance to emergency managers by identifying important organizational factors influencing emergency response performance.

Design/methodology/approach

A conceptual framework is developed linking organizational characteristics and incident types to emergency response performance, focusing on the “prepare” and “respond” stages in emergency management. Archival data are used to test the framework, using ANOVA to analyze 12,057 incidents over a nine-year period.

Findings

The results indicate that organizational characteristics impact emergency response performance through Knowledge of Location. Several organizational factors impact Knowledge of Location, which then serves, with incident type, as a significant indicator for emergency response performance.

Research limitations/implications

Researchers are constrained by the data collected in the database used for the study; however, the use of this commonly collected data to operationalize our variables for model testing facilitates analysis of other emergency management organizations for validation. Future model extension is possible by identifying other important variables.

Practical implications

The analysis emphasizes the importance of area familiarization training in improving emergency response as well as the impact of organizational structure changes on response. Emergency managers should ensure clear lines of authority and communication during times of change.

Originality/value

This is one of the few studies to use empirical data from a large-scale, real-world database to study emergency response performance. In contrast to previous modeling-based research, this study emphasizes organizational characteristics with an empirical perspective.

Details

Management Research Review, vol. 38 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8269

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Article
Publication date: 29 November 2017

Kyoo-Man Ha

Culture does matter in the field of emergency response. The purpose of this paper is to examine how to change the negative emergency response culture in Korea by relying…

Abstract

Purpose

Culture does matter in the field of emergency response. The purpose of this paper is to examine how to change the negative emergency response culture in Korea by relying on people’s awareness and the president’s leadership.

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative content analysis is used as the methodology. The irresponsibility culture, including public officials’ ranking, factionalism, lack of emergency response principles, and social corruption, is contrasted with the responsibility culture, including ability of public officials, egalitarianism, use of emergency response principles, and cleanup of corruption.

Findings

The major tenet is that Korea must not miss the opportunity to change its current irresponsibility culture into a responsibility culture under its own environment.

Originality/value

Many researchers have raised the necessity of cultural change in the emergency response in Korea during these days. In this regard, this paper studies the Korean emergency response culture more rigorously than did previous studies.

Details

International Journal of Emergency Services, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2047-0894

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Article
Publication date: 22 February 2008

Ibrahim Mohamed Shaluf and Fakhru'l‐Razi Ahamadun

The purpose of this paper is to provide some definition and foundation principles regarding emergency and emergency management and to give an overview on the emergency

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1520

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide some definition and foundation principles regarding emergency and emergency management and to give an overview on the emergency response effectiveness at an offshore installation in Malaysia.

Design/methodology/approach

The primary approach used is retrieval of the archived historical complex B emergency drills exercise records from 1997 to 1999. Retrieval of the historical records was made aimed at establishing a baseline information on the level of compliance with the required standards on emergency drills exercise of all the exercise conducted in the complex B for the three years. The secondary data required to complement the primary data are the level of competency gained by the complex B platform personnel as a result of their participation in their platform emergency drills exercise. A questionnaire survey was conducted where the objective of the survey was to map out the sample of general attitude profile and knowledge competency.

Findings

The emergency drills on the Baram B complex are only partially adequate in nurturing effective emergency response preparedness. To achieve completeness and effective emergency drills performed as a conditioning process for an emergency response, the human resources knowledge and competency must be maintained and continuously enhanced. Continuous review for improvement purposes is required. The continuous improvement process should be parallel, covering both human resources and physical infrastructure.

Originality/value

This paper presents an overview on the emergency response effectiveness at a complex B offshore platform. Benefits can be gained from the Malaysian experience.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, vol. 17 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

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Article
Publication date: 27 May 2014

Roshan Bhakta Bhandari, Christine Owen and Benjamin Brooks

This study reports on a survey of experienced emergency management personnel in Australia and New Zealand to identify the influence of organisational features in perceived…

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1455

Abstract

Purpose

This study reports on a survey of experienced emergency management personnel in Australia and New Zealand to identify the influence of organisational features in perceived emergency management performance. The purpose of this paper is to analyse the influence of organisational features in emergency response performance and to discuss how this knowledge can be used to enhance the response capacity of emergency services organisations.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on a review of the literature, a conceptual theoretical model for organisational performance is first developed based on four organisational features found to be previously important in emergency management organisation. These are, adaptability, leadership, stability (mission and direction) and stakeholder communication. An organisational survey was distributed to all 25 fire and emergency services agencies in Australia and New Zealand which included indicators of these elements. Responses were received from experienced emergency management personnel from fire and emergency services agencies. The sample was stratified into the three main organisational types, namely, established, expanding and extending organisations.

Findings

The findings reveal that the predictive significance of organisational features in emergency response performance vary among established, expanding and extending organisations. The predictive significance of stability, adaptability and leadership for perceived success is strong in all organisational types. It is interesting to note that the predictive significance of communication with external stakeholders is low in all organisation types. This indicates the preference of emergency services agencies to look internally within their own operations than externally to build relationships with different specialism.

Originality/value

The theoretical model in this study makes a first attempt to understand the role of organisational features in emergency response performance of organisations in Australia and New Zealand. This work contributes to theorizing emergency operations by highlighting how organisations need to manage two orientations simultaneously: their own internal as well as external orientations, together with their processes for managing both mission and direction and the need for change and flexibility.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management, vol. 23 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

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Article
Publication date: 9 November 2012

Chandrakantan Subramaniam, Hassan Ali and Faridahwati Mohd Shamsudin

This paper aims to determine the influence of physical ability on initial emergency response performance among emergency response teams.

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908

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to determine the influence of physical ability on initial emergency response performance among emergency response teams.

Design/methodology/approach

In an emergency incident, emergency responders are involved in vigorous physical activities. Previous attempts have demonstrated that job performance of emergency responders depends a great deal on their ability to perform strenuous physical activity. This paper examines the influence of physical ability namely weight, height, and cardiovascular endurance on emergency response performance among fire fighting teams in Malaysia. Emergency response performance was defined as team member's speed in responding to emergency situations. Data on team member's physical ability and emergency response time were collected for the duration of five months. The distance from the waiting room to the fire truck in each selected fire station was used to measure performance.

Findings

This study found that the team with higher average weight and cardiovascular endurance level had better initial response to emergency situations, contrary to the research hypothesis. But it is speculated that the relationship could be further understood by considering the proportion of fat in the body. The relationship between cardiovascular endurance and initial emergency response performance further validates and justifies the use of physical fitness test as a criterion for job performance of fire fighters.

Originality/value

This paper offers empirical evidence of emergency response performance in Malaysia. Specifically, it presents findings on the influence of physical ability measures on initial emergency response performance from a team perspective. In addition, the emergency response performance was measured by the distance traveled by the responders, which serves as a meaningful performance indicator.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, vol. 21 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

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Article
Publication date: 24 April 2009

Kerstin Eriksson

The purpose of this paper is to study the transfer of knowledge between preparedness activities and emergency response at the municipal level to improve emergency response.

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2689

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study the transfer of knowledge between preparedness activities and emergency response at the municipal level to improve emergency response.

Design/methodology/approach

A case study was carried out in the municipality of Ljungby using prewritten questions to analyse the collected empirical material. This material consisted of both municipality documents and interviews. The investigation involved municipal units that participate in emergency preparedness activities and those involved in the emergency response to a violent storm Gudrun that took place in 2005.

Findings

The findings show that the people in charge of the immediate response to the storm did not effectively use the analytic preparations created by those responsible for planning and preparations. Indeed to a great extent they used general response patterns and functions discovered from their own earlier experiences. These findings led to the development of a preliminary draft of requirements for a well‐functioning knowledge transfer from emergency preparedness work to response.

Research limitations/implications

The paper demonstrates a need for municipalities to develop methods to increase transfer of knowledge of preparedness plans and analyses to improve response.

Originality/value

The paper shows that there is a potential to improve the preparedness process to reduce the gap between preparedness planning and its use in emergency response. The paper suggests a preliminary proposal for developing preparedness activities (in particular risk and vulnerability analyses) more suitable for emergency response.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, vol. 18 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 23 February 2021

Jorge García Castillo

The purpose of this paper is to provide an analytical model to decide between cash-based and in-kind distributions during emergency responses considering the needs of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide an analytical model to decide between cash-based and in-kind distributions during emergency responses considering the needs of beneficiaries and market conditions. To allow the switch between modalities, a preparedness framework for humanitarian organizations (HOs) is provided.

Design/methodology/approach

A mathematical model is proposed to help humanitarian responders make quantitative decisions on the type of programs to implement in emergency responses. The model was applied to a field response by an international HO during the COVID-19 emergency in Colombia.

Findings

Cash-based and in-kind distributions are not mutually exclusive response modalities during emergencies, and the real needs of beneficiaries and market effects should be included in the modality selection decision to improve program effectiveness.

Research limitations/implications

The research is focused on short-term immediate response to emergencies; the proposed model assumes favorable market conditions and limits the aid options to direct in-kind and multipurpose cash assistance, excluding other types of cash transfers.

Practical implications

The research outlines practical preconditions to operationalize switching between programs during an emergency. The study provides evidence that HOs should consider dynamics decision tools to select aid modalities and evaluate their response depending on market conditions.

Social implications

Considering aid modality as a dynamic decision and including the needs from beneficiaries in the choice can have profound impact in the dignifying of humanitarian response to emergencies.

Originality/value

The quantitative model to decide between aid modalities is a novel approach to include beneficiaries' needs and market dynamics into humanitarian supply chain research. The preparedness framework closes the gap between the emergency preparedness literature and the operational constraints that organizations face for fast program implementation.

Details

Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6747

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Article
Publication date: 14 July 2020

Promise Ifeoma Ilo, Victor N. Nwachukwu and Roland Izuagbe

The study examined library personnel awareness of the availability of emergency response plans, their forms and roles in safety routine preparedness and control in federal…

Abstract

Purpose

The study examined library personnel awareness of the availability of emergency response plans, their forms and roles in safety routine preparedness and control in federal and state university libraries in Southwest Nigeria.

Design/methodology/approach

The survey research design alongside a multi-stage sampling procedure comprising purposive, randomisation and total enumeration techniques guided the study. The population consisted of 327 library personnel drawn from 12 federal and state university libraries (i.e., six each). The questionnaire and structured interview methods were used for data gathering. Of the 327 copies of the questionnaire administered, 249 copies, representing 76.1%, were duly completed and found valid for analysis. Whereas the acceptance threshold of ≥90% response rate and a criterion mean of 2.50 were adopted for making judgements regarding the research questions, while the hypothesis was tested using chi-square statistics with cross-tabulation.

Findings

The state university libraries in the studied region are extremely lagging behind their federal counterpart in terms of emergency preparedness, judging by the availability of emergency response plan (ERPs). However, documenting the plans for routine emergency response is not widespread among the university libraries; thus, the extent of response preparedness is both simplistic and doubtful. Despite the seemingly proactive nature of the federal university libraries over their state counterpart, librarians in both settings do not perceive effectiveness and preference in either the written emergency response plan (WERP) or unwritten emergency response plan (UERP) as an emergency preparedness and control measure.

Originality/value

The research increases knowledge of emergency preparedness in university libraries beyond the mere availability of ERPs. Through a comparative empirical analysis, the desirability of the WERP as a measure of emergency response preparedness in university libraries has been strengthened.

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