Restructuring Emergency Response

The fire brigade on non-industrial sites of a multination had to be restructured to a more lean-and-mean ER organization. At the same time the responsibility for ER shifts from Safety to Security. How to guide & support this sensitive project and maintain a safe balance?

This multinational’s research activity was located on an historical location scattered over dozens of buildings. The presence of a professional and fully equipped company fire brigade was indispensable. Recently research relocated to a new state-of-the-art building comprising an intrinsically safe laboratory. On similar locations the fire brigade was already scaled-down. Furthermore on a corporate level the decision was made to shift operational responsibility from the safety department to the security department.

The assignment was to investigate the feasibility to reform the fire brigade to a lean & mean Emergency Response team and to formulate safety and compliance demands.

Due to integral research and discussions (and proper listening!) it turned out to be possible to combine local Emergency Response best practices of different sites to achieve an optimal solution. Nowhere was detracted from dealing with risks. Historically grown sensitiveness regarding the security or safety point of view could be overcome by maintaining an abstract and rational standpoint in discussions and presentations.

Because of an “out-of-the-box” approach, transparent explanation & communication and risk assessment, emotional barriers could be overcome. The new Emergency Response organization is now operational.

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