Title: 'Struck' in the midst of action: incident commanders from Denmark handling everyday emergencies

Authors: Mikkel Boehm

Addresses: Management and Organization, Department of Social Sciences and Business, Roskilde University, Roskilde, 4000, Denmark

Abstract: This paper investigates micro-sociological events which affect the construction and negotiation of sense in the handling of emergency situations. Through participatory observation and action-cameras attached to fire brigade incident commanders, critical events are identified and condensed. The effects of these critical events upon the incident commanders are analysed in dialogical sessions. The dialogical sessions reveal vulnerability when critical events affect them cognitively, but especially when affected emotionally and physically. Acknowledging and understanding the effect of these striking moments is the baseline from which incident commanders and researchers can gain insight into the realities of practice. This paper argues that in order to gain insight into the actual practice conducted in the midst of everyday action we need to shift our view of incident commanders from privileged sense-makers to privileged sense-facilitators.

Keywords: incident command; struck; emotions; everyday-perspective; sense-making; action-camera; learning; decision-making; practice-learning; fire-brigade; vulnerability.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEM.2017.085028

International Journal of Emergency Management, 2017 Vol.13 No.3, pp.272 - 287

Received: 05 Dec 2015
Accepted: 04 May 2016

Published online: 01 Jun 2017 *

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