Metrics for Success: Using Metrics in Exercises to Assess the Preparedness of the Fire Service in Homeland Security [open pdf - 468KB]
"The Fire Service is at an important crossroads in its history. The increasing threat of terrorism, along with the need for the Fire Service to make a major contribution to the Homeland Security effort, compels firefighters to expand upon their traditional mission requirements. They must deepen and widen the skills they possess for responding to all hazard incidents, and must also cover the terroristic events and weapons of mass destruction incidents that are inevitable during this war on terrorism. This will only be possible if the Fire Service embraces major conceptual changes in the way that it trains and exercises its members. In many respects, that exercise and training system is excellent and serves as a model for other disciplines. In other ways, however, it tends to be flawed and burdensome, preventing the Fire Service from taking major strides forward in its training efforts - especially with respect to the use of metrics to objectively evaluate performance capabilities for Homeland Security-related operations, and the embedding of assessment techniques in a broader system to provide for improved performance. This thesis examines the current approach taken by the Fire Service to training and exercising, especially in the Fire Department of New York (FDNY), and identifies gaps and problems in those existing systems. Then, the thesis examines relevant "best practices" from the United States Military and the private sector that might be applied to the shortfalls in Fire Service training and exercising. The remainder of the thesis proposes changes to the training and exercise system, designed to make a measurable, sustained impact on the capabilities of the fire service to accomplish Homeland Security and traditional mission requirements."
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