Title: Supporting fire crew sensemaking enroute to incidents

Authors: Jonas Landgren

Addresses: Viktoria Institute, University of Gothenburg, Horselgangen 4, Gothenburg, Sweden

Abstract: Reconstruction of major emergencies and crises as well as observations of large-scale emergency exercises are common approaches for studying and understanding various actors| work practice in emergency response. Studies of small-scale emergencies using an ethnographic approach are less common. This paper presents data from a single small-scale emergency as part of an extensive ethnographical field study. A detailed analysis of sensemaking in a fire crew en route a small-scale emergency is outlined. The theory of sensemaking is applied as an analytical lens, aiming to explain the communication between the command centre operator and the fire crew in terms of sensemaking. Further, implications for the design of information technology use for fire crew enroute sensemaking will be presented as well as brief reflections of the consequences of such design.

Keywords: fire crews; incident commander; emergency response; sensemaking; ethnography; design implications; emergency management; command centre operators; communication; information technology; Sweden; fire services; rescue services.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEM.2005.007358

International Journal of Emergency Management, 2005 Vol.2 No.3, pp.176 - 188

Published online: 11 Jul 2005 *

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