Tending the Fire of Service: An Empirical Study of Strategies for Integrating Volunteer and Career Firefighters
Heffernan, Natalie French
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The local fire station typically is responsible for responding first in an emergency. Emergency response in the era after 11 September 2001 is an important topic to consider. In the big picture, it is a complex web of federal and national resources that are brought to bear on a diverse set of problems. In the smaller picture, individual managers cope with pressures to provide efficient response, but a response that is embedded within the needs of the local community. In both these pictures, the tensions between individualism and nationalism are discerned. This dissertation examines these individuals at the local county level in more detail. Using grounded theory, it describes the strategies that emerged to integrate the actions of career and volunteer first responders. It finds that legacy organizational design and individual motivations are important influences on these integrating strategies. Most interestingly, it finds that the founding debate between the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists still has influence on these managing strategies. Local managers are able to blend these distinct visions of government. Each of these influences is described as they were manifested in the study interviews and observations.
- Doctoral Dissertations