International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Firefighters’ view on Improving Fire Emergency Response: A Case Study of Rawalpindi
Ms Shahnaz Akhter

Firefighting is a professional task to perform since it involves specialized skills; however the response of firefighters and their departments is accused for inefficiency and mismanagement especially in case of high rise buildings. The purpose of the study is to highlight firefighters view on improving fire emergency response reasons in high rise buildings in Rawalpindi. It investigates hurdles faced by firefighters to response to fire emergencies in high rise buildings. This study is based on qualitative approach with purposeful sampling technique. Five rescue stations were visited for interview from 25 firefighters and two focus group discussions from 10 firefighters on set agenda related research study. The surveys were based on semi structured interviews from firefighters. It highlighted obstacles in firefighting response in high rise building constructed without safety standards as per building bylaws and how firefighters’ response depends on resources, skills, implementation of building bylaws and coordination among response organizations. The study found that safety standards as per building bylaws are not being implemented fully in Rawalpindi and lack of public awareness about firefighting profession affects fire emergency response. Furthermore lack of coordination at all levels especially with Police, Traffic and WAPDA departments and unavailability of Incident Command System (ICS) also affects fire emergency response despite of having good skills and resources. The study also found that media is playing positive role at the site as representatives of the media never disturb firefighters for interviews rather they contacts their seniors for gathering details of the incident.

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