UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction


Kimon Pantelides

Developing a Consistent Approach to Ensuring Community Resilience to Risk during times of Financial Crisis: A study of Fire Services in Southern Europe and the importance of Quality Assurance systems

My PhD is concerned with understanding how fire services in Southern Europe, can continue to guarantee an adequate service to their communities during times of financial crisis, where funding has been substantially axed, limiting possibilities of any substantial progress. However, it is not simply funding that restricts fire services from delivering an adequate service to their communities. There are numerous underlying issues such as culture (both organisational and national), political influence and affiliation, religion, a failure to objectively understand / identify 'need' and a significant lack of competence, all of which are broadly accepted by my main case study. 

My thesis is looking at Greece as its main point of focus and the intricate issues that underpin its current state, both, as a nation, and specifically within the context of the fire service.  My theory is that, though other countries such as Portugal, Spain and Italy (all countries in financial crisis) are progressing somewhat in line with their Northern European counterparts in terms of risk and incident management, Greece is not. 

I want to test this theory. Why is Greece not progressing? Are my other samples, indeed, progressing as anticipated? If not, are there commonalities between these nations that restrict their progress? Are these restrictions practical in relation to funding and resource or more inherent, such as, of cultural, social or political origin? 

How can fire services guarantee the provision of a quality service towards ensuring community resilience against risk? Indeed, what is it that makes fire services adequate?