Exploring Collaboration Between the Fire and Rescue Service and New Actors : Cost-efficiency and Adaptation

Detta är en avhandling från Linköping : Linköping University Electronic Press

Sammanfattning: 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.

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