Date of Conferral





Public Policy and Administration


David Milen


AbstractAccording to the United States Fire Administration, an average of five firefighters are killed annually at scenes of roadway incidents. The purpose of this study was to explore chief fire officers’ perceptions of incident management policies and standards for the prevention of firefighter line-of-duty deaths resulting from secondary collisions. Their perceptions may contribute to the efficacy and appropriateness of incident management policies and standards and may also lead to recommendations to improve compliance. The research question was to understand what chief fire officers’ perceptions of incident management policies and standards for preventing firefighter line-of-duty-deaths from secondary collisions. The theoretical framework used for this study was the punctuated equilibrium theory. This study utilized a qualitative methodology with a multisite case study approach. Triangulation was achieved by combining in-depth interviews, literature review, and artifact and document reviews. Five chief fire officers in the State of Louisiana were interviewed. Participants were identified using both purposeful and snowball sampling techniques. Data were analyzed through NVivo with three resulting themes identified. Most participants noted that fire departments did have safety policies and standards in place. However, most participants opined that new policies were needed. Finally, most participants thought that the National Fire Protection Association was the basis for policies and standards. Future research may include the full spectrum of public service organizations actively involved in reviewing roadway incidents and approaches for adequate management of such incidents. The study recognized that there is a need for more training and policy improvements that may lead to positive social change.