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The city’s fire department is the best option when it comes to managing the disaster within typical American cities. By definition, the fire department is a fire and rescue service that has both the capacity and will to prevent and fight fire, as well as provide rescue services during emergencies. It implies that the fire department as an organization is based on response to emergencies (Eshghi & Larson, 2008). Each fire department comprises of four significant departments that efficiently run the organization. They are the administration, services, training, and operations. It means that the department can well handle any emergency within the city as it is effectively organized. In relation to responsibility, the city fire department is similar to any other certified fire department with respect to the services that it undertakes. Firemen know that they are responsible for protecting the citizens from any disasters and not just fire. It is seen in the way they inspect buildings, offer advice concerning the city plans and building blue prints in terms of emergency exits. They also recruit volunteers and educate the public on how to handle emergencies (Lall, 2009). The department is also a significant part of the city’s administration and thus, it is subordinate to the mayor. It means that its interests are aligned with those of the city and thus, it serves to the best of its ability.
The department is already fully equipped to respond to emergencies within the city, which implies that the organizational position is already quite established. Thus, there is absolutely no challenge concerning letting the department to continue to protect and rescue the city. Therefore, the department only has to stand firm and keep being a role model entity in its authority within the city, organizational position, and responsibility in terms of handling the emergencies.
Establishing an organization with specific tasks to function immediately before, during and after an emergency is well outside the scope of duties that can be assigned to the city’s fire department. At this point, it is important to remember that the fire department is an organization under the city’s administration (Federal Emergency Management Agency, 2013). It means that while it is able to function independently in matters that require so, it is still under the mayoral office and, possibly, the city council. When the city’s fire department is required to respond to a disaster alert, it may do so without seeking the approval of any other office outside the fire department. However, this does not mean that it can form organizations within the department. Its autonomy only includes responding to emergencies and, perhaps, raising additional funds for its operations in the event that the city’s budget is not sufficient (Ingram et al, 2006).
Another reason as to why it would be impossible for the fire department to form an organization specifically tasked with the emergency occurrence is that the mayoral office would always like a part in such acts of brevity and efficiency. It means that it is likely to take the position of directorship with respect to response to emergencies. Thus, it follows that the political units would take on the mantle and use the organization for their own power play within the city. Moreover, considering the importance of the fire department, it would be better for them to stay away from the politics of the city. The fire department should rather serve the interests of the city through disaster prevention, emergency response, and rescue services than form commissions and organizations for each emergency. Such role will have to remain with the administration of the city.
Testing the contingency plans and emergency procedures would require the participation and approval that is beyond the fire chief. Since fire department is a governmental organization, it is similar to a subsidiary operating towards the goals and objectives of the parent company. While the subsidiary has a different line of business, its sole purpose is to benefit the parent company and thus, the shareholders (Montana Disaster and Emergency Coordination Plan, 2012). The city fire department may be an independent division within the city’s administration, but still it is a department that must be aligned with the interests of the city. In this case, the interests that have to be protected are those of disaster prevention, response, and management, and the shareholders are the residents of the city.
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In this context, the fire department would need an external auditing agency to evaluate their plans and procedures and recommend them to the mayor’s office for approval or disapproval depending on what they may have decided on. A contingency plan for one is a sensitive concept as it determines how the department works. Thus, it must be subject to other people and departments beyond the fire chief. In addition, in relation to emergency procedures, the chief may be in a good position to direct the department on how to conduct their operations, but the procedures will certainly have to be evaluated by external experts who can give their recommendations through the city committee on emergency response.
It should be ensured that the fire department is at its best performance all the time in order to keep the city safe, secure with the prevention, response, and rescue services. Nevertheless, the chief’s work should be evaluated by people above him and outside his command.