Which Factors Govern the Use of Emergency Response Information Systems? Insights from an Ethnographical Study of a Voluntary Fire Department

Date
2022-01-04
Authors
Weidinger, Julian
Schlauderer, Sebastian
Overhage, Sven
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Abstract
To realize the digitalization potential of emergency response processes, several information technologies have been proposed that shall support firefighters in their operations. In the incident command process, especially emergency response information systems (ERIS) are supposed to raise the situation awareness and overall efficacy. Despite their theoretical potential, these technologies only slowly disseminate in practice, however. While extant acceptance models can basically explain firefighters’ intention to use them, the actual usage so far remained unexplored. To gain an in-depth understanding of the specific domain and its influence on the usage of technologies, we ethnographically observed a voluntary fire department over several years. During its digitalization of command processes, we identified operational specialties like flexibility, organizational requirements like error culture, and social aspects like perceived importance that influence the introduction of an ERIS. These factors shall enrich existing acceptance models and help to better consider the special characteristics of the firefighter domain.
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Disaster Information, Resilience, for Emergency and Crisis Technologies, emergency management, ethnography, firefighter information technologies, incident command, process digitalization
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