The fog of disaster (FOD) alleviated through enhanced intelligence at Queensland fire and emergency service (QFES)

Masters Thesis

Rubens, Daniel J.. 2021. The fog of disaster (FOD) alleviated through enhanced intelligence at Queensland fire and emergency service (QFES). Masters Thesis Master of Professional Studies. University of Southern Queensland.

The fog of disaster (FOD) alleviated through enhanced intelligence at Queensland fire and emergency service (QFES)

TypeMasters Thesis
AuthorRubens, Daniel J.
1. FirstProf Marcus Harmes
2. SecondRay Hingst
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameMaster of Professional Studies
Number of Pages171
PublisherUniversity of Southern Queensland
Place of PublicationAustralia
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Queensland Fire and Emergency Service (QFES), has prioritised advancement in Intelligence within disaster management in the QFES 2030 Strategy. Disaster management has a bottom-up approach when requesting resources, therefore leaving strategic level decision makers in a reactive state. This, along with QFES’ isolated approach to intelligence, without exploitation of the relationships between the three main systems of community, the event and QFES capability, means an appreciation of future scenarios is missed in the operational decision-making process. Entropy causes an expansion in energy which multiplies data points exponentially for QFES strategic personnel, which creates uncertainty and a compression of the intelligence cycle. By compressing the intelligence cycle, a belief intelligence is being distributed via display screens, is currently practised. This current practice supports decision makers rather than influencing the decision and therefore, falls closer to knowledge management than a pure intelligence product. The inability to harness strategic intelligence in full, through transferring the temporal dimension of information, leaves QFES staff and the community vulnerable from lack of clarity and an expansion in friction operationally.

The primary research question that guided this thesis is: 'What effect would an enhanced intelligence capability have on QFES interoperability and operational capacity?' The research methodology was underpinned by constructivist and pragmatic perspectives, which allowed for an explorative approach, using semi-structured interviews, document analysis, and observations which spanned 2019 – 2021. The methods outlined allowed a triangulation of QFES application of intelligence and provide a better understanding of disaster intelligence in reducing the Fog of Disaster (FOD). The research highlights a gap in the sequencing of a disaster event from entropy to critical decision maker. The research develops the importance of situational understanding and provides a framework to the disaster appreciation process, which could be applied by QFES staff. This thesis outlines inhibiting factors and challenges within the intelligence cycle and highlights the importance of a system based proactive process for QFES and community safety.

Keywordsintelligence, appreciation, disaster, critical decision, uncertainty
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020440902. Counselling, wellbeing and community services
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Byline AffiliationsSchool of Business
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