Sunday, September 25, 2016

Do we really need Emergency services hierarchies

The answer is No . We need leaders but not empires . Many emergencies services can be run by devolved services within existing more local organisations .The shires, hospitals police CFA and forest and  land and water management groups .  

The fact is that emergencies  don't occur every day and they are varied in their extent severity and focus. Permanent agencies are only necessary where both planning and recurrence demand it  Dedicated agencies will get lost between drinks if they don't deal with issues ( often much smaller scale and not called disasters) at very high  return periods
Risk is not an unknown in the country,  but it is to many city centrics , However well trained, city centric  managers are , they cannot have enough experience to properly  manage the range of  them unless they have worked long term at a local level . .

Much environmental risk management is best managed by people who work with related everyday issues ( soils ,water rivers  forests shires  The UFF - CFA dispute  is only the tip of an iceberg of increasing empire building and sus performance within the emergency services industry ,

Craig Lapsley and his staff have too much authority and too little responsibility . Yes govt may need agencies to show and show coordination,- but it should build, as required, from the boots up.

Anyone who knows how the modern emergency services organisation compete with each other and their members will not be surprised that we are not always getting good cost benefit from many of the new ones .

EXAMPLE September 25th September 2016    Forbes floods

'"  all sorts of dialogue is being offered up about situations where so-called managers are out of their depth."
 Incompetent comment in    Italics
Competent responses in      Normal 

"Flood waters hide deep holes and there is risk a car could overturn if a driver attempted to drive through.""  
In designing creek crossings I would consider it poor design if a 1 in 100 year flood eroded the roadway pavement . Ie any holes are Councils or Vicroads fault in most cases . Even  gravel roads should have safe crossing edges ,flood level markers and water over road signs  Public authorities should close the particular road and avoid broad blanket access  .

It is not difficult to prevent the tunneling problem but there would frankly be plenty of low flow crossings that should be on the agenda for work 

"Could get more water  in next few days"     The whole role of EM is to anticipate each situation as it likely to arises not use realtime  situation or unknowns as broad fear factors   

" this is a different flood from the last one "    Em should not talk like public do about risk , They should speak to anticipated risk directly by saying  This is a 1 in 10 i in 100 etc . Each flood behaves differently but the stream manager should be able to plan and design responses on the basis of proper risk assessment calls ( return period - likely rain ,
The geomorphology is known and an  Em who talks vaguely about breakouts and changes in flows has NOT been studying them in the many quiet times between floods . 

Emergency agencies are making the most of the risks,  but are not responding to them in a cost effective manner .
If the locals area reticent about their statement Ministers must take it seriously . A high  number of  disobedients may mean the agency is outta touch with real world risk management  The longer this goes on , the more the system will be corrupted

 Don;t expect the public or the media to pick a sound way through the rhetoric. Cultivating respect for leaders depends on onground credibility , consistent words and ideas like return period

see another time