Understanding the Relationship Between the Clifton Fire Department (CFD) NJ and Clifton's Orthodox Jewish Community   [open pdf - 2MB]

"The Clifton Fire Department (CFD) NJ experienced both unreported and untimely reporting of emergencies from the Orthodox Jewish community that resulted in service delivery problems/issues. The purpose was to improve the timeliness of reporting to reduce the resultant negative consequences. Using the descriptive research method the author surveyed whether other fire departments experienced issues from religious and cultural customs, surveyed the level of knowledge and experience of the CFD members regarding the Orthodox Jewish customs, determined the common practices of the Orthodox Jewish community and how the religious customs were interpreted and instituted, and determined to what extent fire departments and local governments can impose restrictions on religious practices. The author used surveys, interviews, and the literature review during research. The author discovered that the CFD needed to better understand the Orthodox Jewish customs. There was a lack of knowledge and understanding of their religious and cultural customs and the impact on the CFD, and a lack of understanding of the laws that govern the relationship between the CFD and the Orthodox Jewish community. The CFD must avoid excessive entanglement when dealing with issues of religious and/or cultural significance. There was not a standard response or panacea for the service delivery issues. Although certain hazards were created by the practice of their faith, the members were free to practice their religion without government interference. The CFD must establish a relationship with the community, understand their religious and cultural customs, ensure the community understands the CFD's role, and develop solutions together to reduce community risk."

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U.S. Fire Administration. National Fire Academy: https://nfa.usfa.fema.gov/
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