A nation-wide study of the leadership requirements for combined emergency management and fire departments from medium-sized municipalities was conducted. It has been widely recognized by the emergency management community and the federal government that emergency management should be professionalized. The first step in professionalization is standardization. The study disclosed that there was an extremely high variability in the training, education and experience requirements for each of the leadership ranks. Not only was there high variability in the requirements for holding each of the ranks, the ranks themselves varied greatly from department to department. The single rank present in all departments was that of chief, and even for that rank, 30% were appointees with no concrete position requirements. Furthermore, the actual requirements for each of the leadership ranks was compared to recommendations from three professional organizations, the International Association of Emergency Managers, the International Association of Fire Chiefs and the National Fire Protection Association. Not only did the actual requirements for each rank vary greatly from the recommendations from each organization, the recommendations between the organizations varied greatly. It is quite clear that even the professional organizations have not come to a consensus of opinion or agreement on requirements, nor are they even close to doing so. Two departmental models were also examined, and once again there was a high variability of requirements for each leadership rank. Although standardization is the first step in professionalization, there has been little movement in that direction. Emergency management has a long way to go if it is to be professionalized, and the safety of the public and nation stand in the balance.
|Commitee:||Kill, Misit, Russ-Trent, Lana|
|Department:||School of Public Service Leadership|
|School Location:||United States -- Minnesota|
|Source:||DAI-A 76/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Organization Theory, Organizational behavior|
|Keywords:||Emergency management, Fire departments, Leadership, Training|
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