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2986 posts

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  # 1244590 23-Feb-2015 09:05
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If the fire brigade were a privately owned organisation (as an example, IMO I don't think it should be) at least they would increase their efficiency, response times and technology. I don't think the fire service has "improved" much over the last decade or two as there is no "need to". However if they were a profit motivated service (especially if there were more than one organisation competing in the same market) then you would see response times like no other and technology we possibly can't even think of today.

How do you define "efficiency" in terms of the fire brigade?

The fire brigade is one of those things that *cannot* be efficient in terms of having people productively employed all the time. They must always have some spare capacity in case of an emergency. The better their capability to respond to an emergency, the less "efficient" they are in terms of productive outputs.

From my point of view, there should *always* be one fire engine and crew sitting idle and instantly available in my town, in case *my* house catches fire. No matter how many other fires are being fought simultaneously.

If the fire service was profit-motivated, then the capability level would be kept to a minimum, because capability costs money. Inevitably, response times would go up.

Competing fire brigades is as ludicrous as the competing Health Boards set up under Rogernomics. Health is currently struggling because it has to deal with inefficiencies caused by that.

564 posts

Ultimate Geek

  # 1244621 23-Feb-2015 10:13
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AidanS: I've seen many public organisations and Government departments that simply have no "push factor" to be efficient. A single decision may take 3 weeks to make as it has to pass through 5 people from 3 different departments (for an exaggerated example). Who does that benefit? The 5 people that are employed, sure.

I had a good laugh one day when a colleague said that he would turn up to meetings at our govt funded organisation and wonder if the meeting organiser had hit the 'meeting randomizer button', given the odd assortment of people in the room, of which only 3 of the 8 would say anything.


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  # 1244648 23-Feb-2015 10:56
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frankv: ... Competing fire brigades is as ludicrous as the competing Health Boards set up under Rogernomics. Health is currently struggling because it has to deal with inefficiencies caused by that.

+1  (Almost) everyone working in NZ Health Boards at the time released how ludicrous and counter-productive these "reforms" were , but we were powerless to stop it. The hospital administrators pretended to believe it was a good idea - possibly to keep their jobs.

EDIT  With hindsight, that was when I started to lose job satisfaction.


5385 posts

Uber Geek

  # 1244653 23-Feb-2015 11:02
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Years ago I sat down and figured out what my professional purpose is - what can I do to add value to the wider society I am part of.  This works for me. I have worked in for profit and not for profit organisations.  I find if I am employed in roles that help me achieve that purpose, then I am motivated and happy. 

Most organisations do some things that are positive.  For profit or not, I think it's about finding a company with value set/culture that is compatible with your own.


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