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Resource Management in Fire Fighting Organizations: Lessons from the Buncefield Oil Depot Fire and the Greek 2007 Forest Fires

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Chlimintza, Elpida Melpomeni
Conference: Governing Shared Resources: Connecting Local Experience to Global Challenges, the Twelfth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Commons
Location: Cheltenham, England
Conf. Date: July 14-18, 2008
Date: 2008
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/105
Sector: Forestry
Social Organization
Region: Europe
Subject(s): deforestation
fire protection
resource management
decision making
Abstract: "This paper explores critical issues in a front-line, emergency service the fire brigade in Greece and Britain during crisis management. I examine three aspects of crisis management in the Greek and British fire brigade: first, how the resources of the fire fighting organizations are deployed on the incident grounds, second the incident management hindrances and finally, the fundamental reasons behind various impediments to the effective management of crises. Two cases will be examined, compared and contrasted: the emergency response to the forest fires that devastated Greece during the summer of 2007 and the Buncefield oil depot fire that erupted in Hertfordshire, in 2005. For a period of over three months, the 2007 emergency necessitated an effective response to successive and simultaneous fires around Greece. The Buncefield operations, on the other hand, lasted for three days. In contrast to the 2007 fires in Greece, during the Buncefield operations, fire fighters responded to multiple fires in a single area. Despite these differences, both cases were characterized as major incidents, both involved the response of different agencies and both required a unified command structure for the coordination of the different organizations. Moreover, both raised environmental concerns, as their results spilled over from local to international areas and both inflicted substantial damage to state and private property. As such, the nature and crisis management of both incidents share certain characteristics whose examination can teach us valuable lessons for making improvements in the future."

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