Being Accountable

  Comment Banner Feb 2010

Emergency Services Delivery Standards Update


How do we know we are delivering the most appropriate services to the community and how will we continue to do so for the future? How will we manage our services for developments in SA and manage environmental changes on the delivery of our resources?

These are just some of the questions that are being considered by the Emergency Services Delivery Standards Working Party.

The project's mandate is to develop Emergency Service Delivery Standards that can be applied over time across South Australia and across our sector to ensure the emergency services budget is spent to best meet our mission of having a safer and more resilient South Australia. The main object is:

"To develop standards with which to determine where best to place resources and prevention leading to a safer and more resilient South Australian community. The standards need to:

  • provide a framework of risk categories and prevention/attendance standards
  • match response and prevention to risk
  • be defendable
  • be simple to apply
  • remove unnecessary duplication
  • be cost effective to implement
  • be flexible and able to be adapted to changing technologies and populations."

These standards will solve the following problems:

  • clarity about level of resources required in each location
  • a process for determining duplication
  • clarity of process for any changes to responders and boundaries between services
  • clarity about prevention requirements
  • set sector performance measures.

The SAFECOM Board has approved the project's principles which set out the fundamental basis for the standards. They are as follows:

  1. The over-riding outcome of emergency service activity is safer communities. Performance measures will generally be based on the number and cost of death and injury; loss and damage to critical infrastructure, industry, property and the environment and the cost of restoring community functionality.

  2. Possible treatments to fire and emergency risk are prevention, mitigation, preparedness and response and all will be considered from the perspective of community safety not historical precedent.

  3. Resources are limited and will be allocated to areas of greatest need, current and future, based on evidenced risk.

  4. "Like risk" should receive "like fire and emergency cover".

  5. The treatment of a risk needs to be explicitly linked to the outcomes at a community or landscape level (ie: cost of risk treatment versus value of risk reduction from applying that treatment).

  6. Emergency service delivery will be based on seamless integration and cooperation.

  7. Resource use will take account of economic, environmental and social considerations.

  8. The safety and welfare of emergency services members engaged in operations is of the highest priority.

  9. ISO 31000 will be used in assessing risk.

  10. Change management issues need to be considered including the potential impact on communities, responders, sector resources and Government.

  11. Risk treatment standards are independent of service provider.

The working party is currently determining where risks occur and will soon develop a treatment menu.

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