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Article
Publication date: 9 March 2018

Tarmo Puolokainen, Annika Jaansoo and Margo Klaos

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the effect of delivering rescue services in remote areas, where there is little or no natural incentive to provide this service, taking the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the effect of delivering rescue services in remote areas, where there is little or no natural incentive to provide this service, taking the case of Estonia as an example.

Design/methodology/approach

The case study is based on secondary data obtained via analysis of legal acts, rescripts and strategic documents, as well as (applied) studies. In addition, the transcripts of ten half-structured interviews were analyzed, which were conducted with rescue services experts in December 2012. The benefits and risks pointed out in the literature are discussed against an example of providing rescue services in the remote areas of Estonia.

Findings

Outsourcing rescue services has led to cost effectiveness and thereby provides a better-quality service in densely populated areas. The main risks are yet to emerge. It is highly probable that the Estonian Rescue Board has to deal with the issues regarding the lack of control over service, which in turn is caused by the lack of skills and competence to manage the relationships and to design appropriate service-level agreements.

Research limitations/implications

Since the voluntary rescue service provision is rapidly evolving, there have not yet been many studies undertaken to describe the positive and negative aspects of its development. Therefore, the collected data have gaps and are open for discussion.

Practical implications

The introduction of an extensive network of voluntary fire and rescue service brigades is a paradigm shift in Estonia, where the rescue services have so far been provided publicly. Thus, it gives a guidance to other practitioners, on which aspects they should focus on, while planning a change in service provision/provider.

Originality/value

The novelty of this paper is to systematically analyze the benefits and risks occurred on a shift from public provision of rescue services to providing it in an extensive co-operation with voluntary rescuers.

Details

International Journal of Emergency Services, vol. 7 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2047-0894

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 April 2017

Tarmo Puolokainen

The purpose of this paper is to compare the systems of fire and rescue services (FRS) in Estonia and Georgia with respect to recent centralization reforms, especially with…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to compare the systems of fire and rescue services (FRS) in Estonia and Georgia with respect to recent centralization reforms, especially with performance measurement and management in mind, and analyse their prospects for successful implementations.

Design/methodology/approach

A desk study, covering all the main publicly available strategic plans of both countries relevant to FRS was conducted by the author. In addition, a meeting with the Georgian officials from the Emergency Management Agency was held in May 2016 and follow-up inquiries to specify certain aspects were made in the following two months.

Findings

This study demonstrates that Estonia is using performance indicators widely to set the target levels and manage the fire and rescue system, whereas Georgia is still under the process of introducing performance indicators. Therefore, since the systems of both countries are under centralized management in contrast to the typical European system, it would be suitable to learn from the reforms of each country to further understand the best practices.

Research limitations/implications

Since Georgia was in the process of reform in 2016, it does not have many performance indicators or impact evaluations of the reform readily available, which makes the possibilities of comparison limited.

Practical implications

The last reform of the FRS in Estonia and Georgia was similar: the centralization of services to increase the potential of cooperation and standardize the level of service provision. Estonia’s FRS system is eager to implement the reforms based on a data-driven analysis, whereas Georgia, still in the process of reform, does not have many performance indicators. As a result, Georgia and other countries aiming to centralize their FRS system in the near future would have the perfect opportunity to learn from Estonia’s reforms as well as predict and adapt to the possible bottlenecks of the reforms. For a wider audience, an analysis of the possible challenges of centralizing public agencies in transitional countries are of interest.

Originality/value

The public service provision is not widely analysed in the context of transition countries. As the reforms are to some extent the result of the accession process of joining the EU, it is crucial to understand whether the reforms have the planned impact on public services. The current paper analysed the reforms and implementations of public management techniques in the FRS, based on two transitional countries: Estonia and Georgia. FRS has seen relatively few studies analysing and comparing the reforms of different countries.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 30 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 24 October 2018

Paresh Wankhade and DeMond S. Miller

321

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Emergency Services, vol. 7 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2047-0894

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