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Exploring Collaboration Between the Fire and Rescue Service and New Actors: Cost-efficiency and Adaptation
Linköping University, Department of Science and Technology, Communications and Transport Systems. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
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.
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Thesis, ISSN 0280-7971 ; 1710
Keyword [en]
Fire and rescue service, emergency services, collaboration, new actors, first responders, costefficiency, adaptation
National Category
Transport Systems and Logistics Communication Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-115800ISBN: 978-91-7519-110-2 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-115800DiVA: diva2:796724
Presentation
2015-03-27, K3, Kåkenhus, Campus Norrköping, Linköpings universitet, Norrköping, 10:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2015-03-20 Created: 2015-03-20 Last updated: 2015-08-19Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. The Influence of Organizational Changes on Cost Efficiency in Fire and Rescue Services
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Influence of Organizational Changes on Cost Efficiency in Fire and Rescue Services
(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
Fire and rescue services, Stochastic frontier analysis, Efficiency evaluation, Benchmarking
National Category
Communication Studies Transport Systems and Logistics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-115797 (URN)
Available from: 2015-03-20 Created: 2015-03-20 Last updated: 2015-03-20Bibliographically approved
2. New collaborations in daily emergency response: Applying cost benefit analysis to new first response initiatives in the Swedish fire and rescue service
Open this publication in new window or tab >>New collaborations in daily emergency response: Applying cost benefit analysis to new first response initiatives in the Swedish fire and rescue service
2015 (English)In: International Journal of Emergency Services, ISSN 2047-0894, E-ISSN 2047-0908, Vol. 4, no 2, 177-193 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose

– The purpose of this paper is to analyse costs and benefits from new collaborations in daily emergency response and to demonstrate how cost-benefit analysis (CBA) can be used for evaluating effects from these kinds of collaborations.

Design/methodology/approach

– CBA is used to evaluate two collaborations. The cases are: security officers that respond to fire and rescue service (FRS) calls; and home care nurses that assist the FRSs when they respond to urgent medical calls. Interviews, public documents and incident reports have been used as sources of data.

Findings

– Most costs are relatively straightforward to estimate. More difficult to estimate are the turn-out costs, including the services that cannot be performed when the new actors take on new assignments. One important benefit from these kinds of collaborations is reduced response time. Other benefits include increased situational awareness and improved preventive work in Case 1, as well as improved working conditions for the traditional resources and increased medical competence in Case 2. The analysis indicate that the case with the security officers most likely was socially beneficial, while the case with the home care nurses at the time of the study was not.

Originality/value

– The authors provide a thorough description and analysis of two interesting new ways of performing daily emergency response. Furthermore, the authors depict how CBA can be used to structure the analysis and evaluation of new initiatives in emergence services and how it can be used for identifying improvement potential. The authors also identify and discuss what is needed in terms of documentation as well as research, for it to be possible to improve the quantitative analysis of these kinds of initiatives

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2015
Keyword
Cost-benefit analysis, emergency services, first responders, fire and rescue services, economic evaluation, cost-efficiency
National Category
Communication Studies Transport Systems and Logistics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-115798 (URN)10.1108/IJES-01-2015-0002 (DOI)
Funder
Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency
Note

The status of this article was previously Manuscript.

Available from: 2015-03-20 Created: 2015-03-20 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved
3. Front-line Staff Collaboration: Adaptation to New Practices within the Fire and Rescue Service
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Front-line Staff Collaboration: Adaptation to New Practices within the Fire and Rescue Service
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This paper analyses collaborative practice within the fire and rescue services (FRS), with the aim to describe how the FRS adapt to a collaborative service delivery and to provide a theoretical understanding of the new type of actors emerging in such context. The findings are based on three collaborative cases. The data consist of public documents, interviews, and incident reports. The findings show that FRS does not adapt to a collaborative setting, instead the adjustment is made by the new actors. Discretion, professional identity, and personal motivation are factors related to understanding the new front-line actors that emerge within this context.

Keyword
Front-line staff, collaboration, local government, fire and rescue services
National Category
Communication Studies Transport Systems and Logistics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-115799 (URN)
Available from: 2015-03-20 Created: 2015-03-20 Last updated: 2015-03-20Bibliographically approved

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