New book highlights need for huge revamp of fire services to cope with modern disasters

A highly anticipated book charting the modern history of the Fire Service from 1997 to 2015 has been published, authored by Peter Murphy and Kirsten Greenhalgh from Nottingham Trent University and the University of Nottingham.
The book, Fire and Rescue Services: Leadership and Management Perspectives highlights a tumultuous period in the management of the Fire Service, and, given the current challenges and changes, is intended to be read with one eye to the future as well as the past. As well as studying the contemporary history of the service in England the book also focuses on several examples where Fire Service management is rapidly improving, such as Sweden and Scotland.
The changing nature of modern day emergencies has left the Fire Service behind when it comes to management and efficiencies, and as such, means a lot of improvement is needed to adequately protect the public.
Professor Peter Murphy, Director of the Public Policy and Management Research Group at Nottingham Business School, part of Nottingham Trent University and co-editor of the book, said: “This book analyses the modern history of the management of the Fire Service but is really intended to influence the leadership and management, of the service going forward. It’s no secret that the service faces challenges in terms of changing patterns of risks and meeting the government’s efficiencies targets. Firefighters just haven’t been given the support and resources they need to do their job and protect our communities and we need to fix this as a matter of urgency.
Kirsten Greenhalgh, associate professor of accounting at Nottingham University Business School and co-editor of the book, said: “Emergencies in today’s societies are more complex than ever before, and because the fire service has suffered from fragmentation of collective leadership, this leaves the public at risk from major disasters such as Grenfell. We hope that the content in this book will help to inform leadership and management within the Fire Service community so that we can once again hold it as a shining example to the rest of the world.”
Alongside the co-editors, the book contains various specialist chapters written by some of the most respected academics across the UK with Fire and Rescue Services expertise.
The book is on sale now and is available from

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