Analyzing the need for special operations teams within the fire service
Lohrke, Trixie G.
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Fire suppression and rescue is the primary mission of the fire service, but not all rescue efforts entail putting out fires. For this reason, the fire service created special operations teams. Special operations teams are comprised of highly trained members with advanced skills that come at a high cost to fund and operate. Using three Dallas Fire-Rescue special operations teams as case studies, the findings presented are: (1) benefits and priorities of developing subject matter experts; (2) feasibility from the fire service standpoint and practicality of special operations teams in the fire service; (3) special operations teams can complement or support other special operations teams; and (4) the framework for Dallas Fire-Rescue special operations teams is flexible enough for many fire departments to utilize. The conclusion and recommendations of this analysis will challenge fire service tradition. The value innovation of rank-specific organizational reform in special operations teams will save lives and property while reducing recovery costs.
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