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FIRE21 - Webinar on problem solving in the Fire and Rescue Services

FIRE21 is a project that investigates problem solving in the Nordic Fire and Rescue Service. One part of the research is different webinars.

Problem solving in the 21st century

The objective of the research in FIRE21 is to bed for an effective Fire and Rescue Service in the future. The research will clarify which abilities best support the future´s Fire and Rescue Service. An important outcome is to identify crucial resources for effective problem solving. The project is financed by Nordforsk and is a cooperation between Sweden, Norway and Denmark.

How are the operations of the Fire- and Rescue Services effected by the organisation's formal and informal networks? Will these networks act as expected during an incident?

To understand problem solving networks

The second work package in FIRE21 is called Benchmarking Network Based Problem-Solving in the Fire and Rescue Services. The aim is to understand the problem-solving networks and associated capabilities in Norway, Sweden and Denmark. To fully understand this, a review of the problem-solving structure from national to local level is required.

A document study of the legal framework and regulatory documents for the Fire and Rescue services offers knowledge about the existing formal structures. This is to be complemented with interviews and case studies on a local level.

Webinar as part of the research

To gain further insights, FIRE21 arranged a webinar in August 2021. Delegates from each directorate were invited and included:
Myndigheten för samhällsskydd och beredskap (MSB), Sweden
DEMA/Beredskabsstyrelsen, Denmark
Direktoratet for samfunnssikkerhet og beredskap, Norway.

The webinar covered topics such as tasks and roles within the directorate, formal organization, significant stakeholders and collaboration. The seminar showed that there are more similarities than differences between Sweden, Denmark and Norway.

Fire and rescue services team prepare for emergency
The aim of work package 2 is to understand the problem-solving networks and associated capabilities in Norway, Sweden and Denmark.

Many similarities in the Nordic countries

A common difficulty is the directorates´ lack of authority. Despite working closely to and cooperating well with the local Fire and Rescues Services, the directorates can never issue orders. Instead, they can only offer advice. This can sometimes lead to inefficient problem-solving during large and complex incidents when local services need to cooperate with the national level.

The Fire and Rescue Services within each country differs in terms of capacities, demography, and local challenges. But one similarity is that Fire and Rescue Services in large municipalities often organize themselves, whereas Fire and Rescue Services in smaller municipalities need more national support.

One difference originates from geography

An obvious difference between the countries originates from their respective geographies. The directorates in Sweden and Norway have gained more experience, competency and responsibility managing forest fires. Denmark, however, has previously dealt with several floods and is therefore more involved and experienced in handling coastline and dams.

Some identified challenges

To conclude, there are more similarities than differences between the three countries´ directorates. Common challenges relate to the command structure, size of municipality and the various types of incidents. These are some of the insights to be taken further to the continued research in FIRE21.  

Back to the start of work package 2 in FIRE21.
Back to overview of all the work packages in FIRE21

Go to the introduction page of FIRE21

Lotta Vylund

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Lotta Vylund

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Kerstin Eriksson

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