Future role of fire service in homeland security
Cloud, Rosemary R.
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As action-oriented organizations, fire departments have traditionally played a reactive role in public safety, responding to emergencies in progress to protect the lives, and property of their citizens. The problem is that the world has changed. Increasing terrorist threats against our homeland and the potential for pandemic or other natural disasters are shifting the mission and placing new unconventional demands on the fire department. Meeting these challenges will require strategies to identify and address the future role of the fire service in homeland security. This thesis used the Delphi method to explore what this future role might be. Information, responses, and recommendations from three groups of SMEs were examined, analyzed, and synthesized to determine key issues the fire service will face. The future role of the fire service in homeland security will demand the need for progressive leadership, effective collaboration, intelligence engagement, and the adoption of a shifting mission that supports preparedness, prevention, response, and recovery of terrorist attacks. Emerging issues and areas of responsibility to meet new asymmetrical threats require a response paradigm. This response paradigm in the fire department should include the ability to adjust service delivery to meet all hazard and homeland security demands.
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