Aim: The aim of this article is to present effective procedures for acquiring logistic and medical field resources, which include appropriate operating procedures for the State Fire Service (SFS) units during the planning of long-term operations and during their execution.
Introduction: Long-term rescue operations generate a wide range of logistical and medical needs. However, these actions occur relatively rarely (they constitute from 5 to 10% of all rescue operations conducted by the State Fire Service (SFS) units in Poland. Also for economic reasons, the logistic and medical potential of SFS units is adapted to perform tasks mainly in short-term activities, i.e. lasting no more than 6 hours. As a result, in long-term actions, logistic and medical protection of SFS units requires the use of field logistic and medical resources (supply as well as logistic and medical services) obtained from the national economy. The analysis and assessment of long-term rescue operations conducted in Poland in recent decades shows that there are many shortcomings in the process of acquiring field resources. The main ones include: the long time to commence supplies and services by business entities and problems with their obtaining on weekends, delays in deliveries of supplies and the provision of logistic services, a lack of procedures to establish the costs incurred by business entities when providing so-called immeasurable logistics services, the need to strictly comply with the provisions of the Public Procurement Law Act when developing plans to acquiring local resources, the lack of effective financial and non-financial methods to motivate business entities – suppliers and providers of logistics services. In addition, the sporadic nature of long-term actions means that SFS's logistic authorities have relatively little experience in acquiring field resources for the needs of logistic and medical protection of SFS units. First of all, there is a lack of good practices related to the development of plans for obtaining field resources (they are part of the rescue plans) and procedures for their implementation in rescue operations. This is demonstrated by, among others very scarce literature on the subject. The main source of knowledge in this are briefings by SFS officers who have certain experience in providing logistic and medical backup of SFS units in long-term actions. This problem can be solved, among others through the implementation into the SFS official procedures for obtaining local resources from the national economy. They would relate to the activities of the commanders of the State Fire Service at the stage of long-term actions planning and during their conduction.
Methodology: In both of the above studies, theoretical (analysis, synthesis and analogies) and empirical methods were used in the research process. The latter involved primarily the survey method, including interviews and questionnaires. In an effort to answer the first question, theoretical and empirical methods were used in the research process. Among the theoretical methods, the main ones were: 1) the analytical method, used to critically analyse literature on the organisation of logistic and medical security of military units; 2) the analogy method, was used for the logistic and medical needs of SFS units in long-term rescue operations, based on similarities with the logistic and medical needs of military units in combat operations and injured civilians; 3) the synthetic method, which was used to formulate conclusions (proposals regarding the logistic and medical needs of SFS units in long-term rescue operations) obtained by inductive reasoning and deductive reasoning, as well as by analogy.
Results: The study showed many shortcomings (difficulties) related to the acquisition of field resources, which occurred in long-term rescue operations conducted so far in Poland. The main ones were caused by the lack of appropriate regulations regarding: financing rescue operations; division of powers between SFS management and local public administration bodies in acquiring these resources; bonuses for business entities for maintaining readiness to carry out logistic tasks for SFS units. In every system, even a well-organised one, there is certain inertia. The experience of organising logistic and medical security for SFS units in long-term rescue operations conducted in recent decades in Poland indicates that this also applies to acquiring field resources. As a result, a certain amount of time is needed for its full activation.
Conclusions: According to the authors, the study results and proposals based on them are innovative. Their application by the State Fire Service may significantly improve the logistic and medical security process of rescue units in long-term operations, and as a consequence increase the effectiveness of conducting these operations.
Keywords: State Fire Service units, long-term rescue operations, local logistic and medical resources
Type of article: original scientific article