|Title||Changing capabilities of emergency service organisations|
|Year of Publication||2018|
|Authors||Maharaj, N, Rasmussen, B|
|Institution||Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC|
|Keywords||Capability, diversity., emergencies, Emergency management, Learning|
In our literature review on the costs and benefits of increasing diversity, we also outlined the changing context in which emergency service organisations (ESOs) (that include emergency management) were operating. In summary, the change in the context was due to:
• The increasing frequency and severity of natural disasters due to climate change (National Strategy for Disaster Resilience) (COAG, 2011)
• The increased availability of new and improved technology to respond to natural disasters
• The increased need to serve a much more diverse community (Smiley, 2010, pp 24, 30).
This has meant that both the capabilities and the tasks undertaken by the ESOs have had to change to respond to this changing context, and tasks have changed as demonstrated by the types of incidents and emergencies attended. These new capabilities and new tasks could be undertaken by retraining the existing workforce. However, the development of these new capabilities and new tasks provides an opportunity to recruit new staff with the required skills from more diverse backgrounds to undertake these new and/or expanding tasks. The literature review suggested that a well-managed, more diverse workforce could produce better performance outcomes for tasks of increasing complexity. In some areas such as new technology capabilities and communication with diverse communities, it may be necessary to recruit those with more diverse backgrounds to meet basic operational objectives.