Accountability of Personnel at an Emergency Incident Term Paper

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Accountability of Personnel at an Emergency Incident

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In this paper, we shall focus on dealing with accountability of personnel in emergency incidents with emphasis on the profession of fire-fighting. The paper starts with an introduction about personnel accountability during an emergency incident. The paper then moves over to discuss about the statistics of fire fighter personnel's injuries, the IMS and the 'Personal Alert Safety System -- PASS' devices. Next the paper moves on to discuss about the concept of accountability and how it is becoming significant in Incident Command System. The paper discusses about accountability being a method to account for every fire fighter in a small geographic area, inside the "hot spot." The paper then proceeds to mention about firefighter personnel's accountability which has increased immensely in recent times compared to the earlier years and how it is harder presently to become a firefighter personnel because of all the training essentialities and how emergency services personnel are required to perceive to include an accountability system which is standard. The paper shall further try to understand about freelancing and how it is a much unsecured practice. The paper also explains regarding the importance of teamwork, supervision and communication in relation to accountability while dealing with emergency situations. Next the paper also explains about the importance of accurate documentation for accountability and the explanation of PAR surveys and the 'emergency response personnel mechanized accountability system', also known as a 'Firefighter Automated Accountability System -- FAAS'. The paper shall further mention about detection card, bar code, data entry system, emergency firefighter's masks, badges, PASS devices and various other elements which ensure the accountability of the personnel involved in emergency incidents. Next the paper emphasizes and illustrates about the necessity to devise personnel accountability.


TOPIC: Term Paper on Accountability of Personnel at an Emergency Incident Assignment

Although risk management methods have been effectively applied for minimizing the odds for personal injury to individuals, amazingly, these established procedures have not been used in fire fighting operations that constitute among the most perilous environments of all. Personnel's might devote a substantial time readying for the brief period that will devote getting under control any emergency incident, nevertheless that brief period is when the urgency to use efficient risk management capabilities are of utmost importance. (Kipp; Loflin, 1996) the central objective of a personnel accountability program is to guarantee that the hierarchy of operations during an emergency incident keeps a precise record of personnel who are on duty, backed by a fool-proof procedure of guaranteeing speedier information during an emergency incident.

A lot of personnel still continue to get injured and also lose their lives while performing their duty. A cursory glance at the some of the alarming figures will lend some viewpoint to the issue encountered by the departments around the country. Fire fighter personnel experience over 100,000 injuries annually. From the years 1985 till 1994, 173 firefighters lost their lives during duty inside structures. Out of 173, 113 were caught or jammed within a structure, 10 met death due to falls, and some 30 lost their lives as they went lost within a structure. (Walker, 2007) Especially, in the aftermath of the 9/11 incident in USA, development and execution of incident management system -- IMS has received a great deal of interest. The IMS is an instrument for arranging pre-assembled and pre-identified resources to react to an emergency or debacle incident. IMS is especially helpful when resources and personnel from several agencies and jurisdictions are needed to run bigger incidents in a successful manner. (Perry, 2003) Fire chiefs, safety officers, fire officers and risk managers - for the initial period anywhere are required to grow and execute an all-round risk management program which is able to abruptly minimize deaths or injuries during duty, and dreadful exposures while lowering property and damage to equipment. (Kipp; Loflin, 1996)

Although with the present attention on personnel accountability, the creation of a speedier interference or response team, and the putting in place of technology like 'Personal Alert Safety System -- PASS' devices, we still come to know time and again regarding catastrophes wherein firefighters lose their lives while discharging their duties and were not documented as missing till some later period of time. Few of these deaths are due to unexpected appalling incidents which could have been completely unavoidable. Undoubtedly, if there were forewarning of a looming tragic situation, immediate action might have helped in saving some of these individuals. (Walker, 2007)

It is very difficult to usher changes in emergency services. Nevertheless, the time is right that we begin safeguarding ourselves. The concept of accountability is not really a new concept. Performing it in a proper manner and increasing its frequency is a recent concept. (Yaccich, 2002) in case of emergency fire-related public safety applications, the accountability of firefighters has been the primary and the most basic need. (Sha; Shi; Watkins, 2006) Accountability is fast coming to be a constituent of the Incident Command System in emergency fire service because of valid points. Hence, it ought to be the constituent of every command system in case of any emergency incident. It is necessary to appreciate the value of having a systematically executed accountability system as accountability is a means which must be applied to improve the security of every emergency personnel. This concept of accountability must be executed prior to the onset of the tragedy. (Yaccich, 2002) in keeping with the primary situation of an emergency fire rescue application, when firefighters begin the fighting in the fire field, the fire department as well as emergency incident commander requires the information relating to firefighters, one of which relates to the emergency firefighters accountability. (Sha; Shi; Watkins, 2006) Accountability methods lend a way for the emergency withdrawal of fire department personnel from a danger area when situations pose an instant danger to life. ("Public Fire Safety Guidelines," 2000)

Accountability is thus a method to account for every fire fighter in a small geographic area, inside the "hot spot" of an incident. A "hot spot" would vary depending on the character of the incident. The cause for the accountability system is to have an understanding as to the number of personnel engaged in a "hot spot." Apparently, anytime firefighters are deployed in an IDLH -- 'Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health' situation which would definitely become a hot spot. In the meantime, in case the operation is visualized, the risk that a firefighter could be missing, trapped, or hurt by the environment or structure those would be also covered as "hot spots" as well. Rescuing from a high angle, closed spaces, rescue from trenches or hazardous materials incidents would all tend to have hot spots. (Richards, 2003) Nevertheless, placing responsibility in case of disastrous incidents must not only be the sole objective of accountability. Accountability methods are associated with other crucial variables in the management perspectives that cover risk also. The view of risk and its management considerable impacts the decision making of managers. Besides, organizational inducements and deterrents for taking risks can put a heavy toll on the propensity of managerial risk that could have crucial outcomes for execution of program. (Wise; Freitag, 2002)

During the early part of the 1970s firefighters adopted the strategy of 'Body by Mack, brain by Matel'. (Abdelnabi, 2007) However, much water has flown since then, and more is anticipated from firefighters with regard to education as also training. The principles, the safety norms adopted earlier are not prevalent today. The years have witnessed several more rules as well as regulations. The emergency firefighter personnel's accountability has probably enhanced up to ten times. Presently the firefighter personnel's have norms to follow and all the essential tools to assist them doing their jobs. Security was actually an issue in the early years since it was considered as more of a macho institution and with the pace of time we have dealt with the amount of firefighter personnel's we have wounded or succumbed to death. Presently, the engines have safety mechanisms such as seat belts and personnel's are not permitted to move through the fire trucks. The groundwork for firefighter personnel's has enhanced and become more forceful in the last four decades. Presently, firefighters are required to be certified and most pass through hundreds of hours of schooling prior to having their license. (Abdelnabi, 2007)

It is harder presently to become firefighter personnel because of all the training essentialities. It not only involves willingness of someone to undergo training, but also some one desirous of sacrificing the time required for the purpose. Training progressively enhances since being a firefighter is not simply reacting to fires, but to emergencies. Many of those emergencies are medical and that is why firefighters are obtaining licenses in emergency medical services. The fire service at present is varying to entail for a fire-based emergency medical service to make sure firefighters can address any kind of contingency. The fire service is varying intermittently, and lessons are continuously being taken from the errors. There appears more liability that are supplemented to each personnel every… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Accountability of Personnel at an Emergency Incident" Term Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Accountability of Personnel at an Emergency Incident.  (2007, December 19).  Retrieved December 5, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Accountability of Personnel at an Emergency Incident."  19 December 2007.  Web.  5 December 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Accountability of Personnel at an Emergency Incident."  December 19, 2007.  Accessed December 5, 2021.