Developing an incident command system framework for natural hazards in the United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Alawadhi, S 2019, Developing an incident command system framework for natural hazards in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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It is beyond dispute that natural hazards cause significant damage to physical and human ‎domains, with more disasters occurring in the last 25 years are increasingly linked to climate ‎change. Therefore, there is a growing need to minimise the dangers and threats faced by ‎individual countries. Due to its geographical location and environmental conditions, the ‎United Arab Emirates (UAE) is particularly exposed to various natural hazards, resulting in ‎both the infrastructure and urbanisation being at risk. The uncertainty and complexity of ‎emergencies requires particular arrangement responses from emergency agencies, such as the ‎civil defence, and police services to share in minimising the impact of the emerging threats. ‎The reoccurrence of hazards and their impact suggest that the implementation of the ‎emergency response system and the incident command are wrong, or that there is a gap found ‎between the theory and practice in emergency response. Consequently, the UAE has realised ‎the necessity for implementing an appropriate hazard response system to avert and mitigate ‎the potential consequences of the hazards and to deal with future emergencies. This has ‎proven beneficial in the identification and evaluation of the primary vital factors and gaps in ‎the implementation of the incident command system, in particular, the Civil Defence General ‎Command (CDGC) agency used as a case study for this research. Thus, this research aims to ‎develop an incident command system framework based on a feasibility assessment to ‎facilitate emergency response, increase capacity, and enhance resilience of the CDGC in ‎dealing with hazards in the UAE.‎

To achieve this aim the research employed exploratory sequential mixed method approach to ‎collect and analyse the required data. In the first stage, qualitative semi-structured interviews ‎were conducted with Gold and Silver commanders (n=15). These commanders were selected ‎due to their high positions in their departments, with the Gold commander in the role of a ‎general director, and the Silver commander as a deputy director at the CDGC agency. In ‎addition, thematic analysis was used to identify key critical factors of the incident command ‎system, which were; implementation, organisational, individual, barriers and driver factors in ‎the current deployment of the incident command structure. The second stage of the ‎investigation employed questionnaires survey to measure and examine the perceptions and ‎values of the Bronze commanders (n=153). These commanders were selected due to their job ‎roles in the operational field as they being first responders to incidents. A Kruskal -Wallis test ‎‎(KWt) was used to examine whether there were any significant relationships ‎between the ‎independent variables (CD departments, job position and academic qualification) and the ‎dependent variables (the incident command system factors) at level (p <0.05). Thereafter, ‎further questionnaires were collected from experts (n=11), which helped in achieving the ‎UAE incident command framework validation. A sample size of experts was selected to ‎reduce bias associated with a decrease in the possibility of data response. Generally, the ‎higher commander ranks tended to reveal excellent judgment regarding the research results, in ‎accordance with their years of experience, which was more than 11 years and above.‎

The realisation of key contributions to awareness and understanding completed the ‎knowledge gap by presenting a developed incident command system framework that ‎addressed the key factors associated with the successful implementation of the incident ‎command system adaptable to the UAE’s environmental conditions. This research identified ‎and evaluated the critical factors of implementation, organisational, individual, barrier and ‎driver of the incident command system ‎in the CDGC agency in the UAE. The barrier factors ‎were treated statistically to build an improvement strategy for an effective emergency ‎response. This research has practical implications for the incident commanders as it actively ‎assures improved operation of the incident command system currently in place, so that it ‎enhances the capabilities within the CDGC agency during emergency response operations. By ‎doing so, emergency agencies in the UAE can be more effective and efficient. As a result, the ‎proposal of a new framework contributed to a more detailed and less confusing system that ‎overcome the identified barriers and aided successful emergency management.‎

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Contributors: Udeaja, CE (Supervisor) and Pathirage, C (Supervisor)
Schools: Schools > School of the Built Environment
Depositing User: Mr Saif Alawadhi
Date Deposited: 03 Jul 2019 12:46
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 21:25

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