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Islam for fire fighters - A case study on an education program for emergency services

Fozdar, F. and Roberts, K. (2010) Islam for fire fighters - A case study on an education program for emergency services. Australian Journal of Emergency Management, 25 (1). pp. 47-53.

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Emergency services are increasingly recognizing the need to engage with the diverse communities they serve. In an emergency management context, reciprocal trust based on awareness and understanding is essential during times of natural disasters, emergencies and other catastrophic events. This paper describes an initiative by the Fire and Emergency Services Authority of Western Australia to build its capacity to deal appropriately with an increasingly visible, and marginalized, minority the Muslim community through a program designed to raise awareness and understanding among its staff. Despite some initial internal reticence and broader community criticism, outcomes included raised levels of awareness among FESA members of diversity issues generally, improved knowledge of Islam and related cultural issues, and a number of strong partnerships leading to further community development activities. This paper describes the social, political and organizational context in which the training was developed, and reflects on the personal experiences and lessons learnt by the program developers.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Social Sciences and Humanities
Publisher: Australian Emergency Management Institute
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