How Public Perception Shape the Performance of the Fire Department Term Paper

  • Length: 5 pages
  • Sources: 6
  • Subject: Safety
  • Type: Term Paper
  • Paper: #60710621

Excerpt from Term Paper :


Emergency personnel occupying the fire and emergency services make day-to-day decisions and their behavior contributes to the constant evolving of public perceptions. The negative perception of the public due to their scrutiny of fire and emergency operations, budgets, and behavior has slowly tarnished the image of these departments. Therefore, measures should be undertaken in saving the image of the fire and emergency services field through talking openly, reflecting on honesty, working collaboratively, taking responsibility for upcoming issues and acting professionally. The following study looks at the perceptions of the public concerning the Fire Department and the factors influencing their opinions. In addition, the paper looks at what they do in an attempt to either increase or decrease the perceptions of their communities. Furthermore, it identifies the Fire Department’s activities aimed at establishing positive perceptions from community members.


Fire Departments continue to be under scrutiny, and they continue to struggle to maintain a positive image due to evolving communication technologies, economic pressures, and the changing social norms. This has taken the fire and emergency service department to re-examine the existing problem and develop resources that empower officers of various Fire Departments to address the public issue because it has threatened to erode public trust. The public’s perception not meant to judge any individual or institution because it reflects the human nature. Fixing the problem will entail taking ownership and being accountable for departmental actions.

Influencing Factors

Trust is an essential part of emergency departments, which includes the fire services where simple acts of community care are accorded to their clients. For Fire Departments, trust is important because it shows their ability when upholding the public’s safety and thus, is vital for the existence of the department. The mere fact that trust has been lost has eroded the image of the Fire Department. However, the perception of many government officials seems to deteriorate, and this has made them be viewed as any other government agency (IAFC, 2013). Fire service departments are also prone to opposing perceptions that have made life saving be a highly cast thing that has made it low-points, and this is a sharp contrast. From this, it is evident that trust and perceptions are related, but they are different since trust looks at a person’s belief, facts retrieved from given systems, and emotions that will predict future outcomes. In essence, trust is something that is more personal, and it develops over time. Perception, on the other hand, is a process where an individual makes analysis of both own assessment and the external environment. Competing ideas have constant push and pull effects that continue to wreak havoc on the public perception of the department (IAFC, 2013).

Performance of fire service departments have specific human factors affecting them and include leadership, decision-making, performance, communication, and desired results. By having all these they will align with harmony, the perception and reality of the case bring out positive outcomes. The perception of the public concerns itself mostly with communication where the Fire Department can have a good flow of information in their different departments. Moreover, the desired results will reflect on the perception of the public on how they can conduct their intended goal and mission, which is to protect the community from losing lives and even property among others (Trippett, 2014).

What Fire Departments Do To Increase and Decrease the Communities’ Perceptions?

Decreased perception of the community is attributed to the fact that there are instances where the Fire Department does not meet its obligation of providing the community with care during emergencies. When such incidents arise, the public will look at the perception of wages where community members will protest and say that the firefighters are paid too much, and yet all they do is sleep, hang out, and wait for a fire (U.S. Fire Administration, 2013). When firefighters demand higher wages and even pricing issues, it becomes detrimental to the functioning of local government agencies, but the best is to ask for fair wages.

The public perception of local fire service is seen to affect their budgeting directly. Having a positive view of the Fire Department may be a way of convincing voters as the primary beneficiaries during emergencies. The notion of having a Fire Department in the community is to help the people when they need it. Thus, the more the public is aware of the services offered by the Fire Department, the more likely they are going to use them…

Cite This Term Paper:

"How Public Perception Shape The Performance Of The Fire Department" (2017, November 20) Retrieved April 2, 2020, from

"How Public Perception Shape The Performance Of The Fire Department" 20 November 2017. Web.2 April. 2020. <>

"How Public Perception Shape The Performance Of The Fire Department", 20 November 2017, Accessed.2 April. 2020,