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The Influence of Organizational Changes on Cost Efficiency in Fire and Rescue Services
Linköping University, Department of Science and Technology, Communications and Transport Systems. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
Linköping University, Department of Science and Technology, Communications and Transport Systems. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2566-4183
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Fire and rescue services in Sweden have recently undergone organizational changes aiming at improving service quality and efficiency. Among those changes are an increased number of formalized cooperations between FRSs in neighboring municipalities, increased collaboration with other sectors in day-to-day operations, changes in the structure of rescue teams, and an increase in the tasks performed by the services. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether these policy changes have resulted in increased cost efficiency in the Swedish FRS. We used stochastic frontier analysis of annual data from 2009 to 2012 for 205 Swedish municipalities, taking into account the relevant differences in conditions among them. The conclusion is that there is no evidence to be found of improved efficiency in the FRS. The policy changes that have been implemented have not had the desired effects, and most of the policy variables tested for inclusion in the model were not found significant. Recommendations for future research are to further investigate why these policy changes have not yet given the expected results, to examine how and if collaboration with different types of organizations (public, private and non-profit) affects efficiency differently and to make further in-depth comparisons between the most efficient and least efficient FRSs for there are great variations between them.

Keyword [en]
Fire and rescue services, Stochastic frontier analysis, Efficiency evaluation, Benchmarking
National Category
Communication Studies Transport Systems and Logistics
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-115797OAI: diva2:796711
Available from: 2015-03-20 Created: 2015-03-20 Last updated: 2015-03-20Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Exploring Collaboration Between the Fire and Rescue Service and New Actors: Cost-efficiency and Adaptation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Exploring Collaboration Between the Fire and Rescue Service and New Actors: Cost-efficiency and Adaptation
2015 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The emergency services serves an important purpose in society by ensuring that people in need, regardless of their geographical location, receives help when they fall victims to undesirable incidents. Existing resources are however often limited and concentrated to urban areas making travel distances to remote areas long. Local authorities are also facing budget constraints and clients are becoming more demanding. This means that the emergency services need to do more, but with less resources. Collaboration with new actors has therefore been proposed as a solution. There exist several actors with basic knowledge in both fire suppression or medical treatment that might be able to contribute at an early stage in order to reduce response time and provide help to citizens in need. However, little research has been dedicated to investigating the possibilities and the potential of new collaborative practices in every day accidents.

In this thesis collaboration between new actors and the fire and rescue service (FRS) in Sweden is studied. The aim is to analyze whether collaborative practices leads to an increased cost-efficiency, for the FRS and society as a whole. The thesis also aims to analyze how traditional actors and new actors adapt to collaborative practices.

For evaluating cost-efficiency in the FRS stochastic frontier analysis is used and for analyzing the societal effects cost-benefit analysis is applied. In total three cases are studied; (1) security officers assisting the FRS in fire alarms (2) home care nurses collaborating with the FRS in medical alarms and (3) citizens responding to FRS-alarms through SMS.

The results do not show that collaboration have led to increased cost-efficiency in the FRS during the studied time period. However, despite that no evidence for increased cost-efficiency is found in the FRS, there are several societal gains from collaborating related to e.g. equity, quality and effectiveness. And the costs for implementing collaborative arrangements are relatively low. It is however argued that to be able to get the most out of collaboration more emphasis should be put on building common platforms, where the different organizations and actors can communicate, share experiences, organize joint training sessions and actually collaborate. Today interaction outside the rescue site hardly exist between the collaborative partners; the actual collaboration between the FRS and the new actors is limited only to the response phase. Also, the FRS do not adapt their bureaucratic structures to collaborate with the new actors. Instead the changes associated with collaboration affect mainly the new actors, as an addition to their regular duties. Factors related to discretion, professional identity and personal motivation are identified as important for understanding how new actors adapt to collaboration.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2015. 55 p.
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Thesis, ISSN 0280-7971 ; 1710
Fire and rescue service, emergency services, collaboration, new actors, first responders, costefficiency, adaptation
National Category
Transport Systems and Logistics Communication Studies
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-115800 (URN)978-91-7519-110-2 (print) (ISBN)
2015-03-27, K3, Kåkenhus, Campus Norrköping, Linköpings universitet, Norrköping, 10:15 (Swedish)
Available from: 2015-03-20 Created: 2015-03-20 Last updated: 2015-08-19Bibliographically approved

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Weinholt, ÅsaHolmgren, Johan
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