Background The recent cuts in public resources has put also the effectiveness of fire prevention programs under closer scrutiny. Fire prevention is one of the main functions of the regional fire departments and under growing rivalry for declining recourses. Thus, better methods in increasing or optimising effectiveness are desperately needed. This research is the first serious attempt to apply CEA in evaluating the effectiveness of fire prevention program, in Finland and internationally.
Methods Cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) is an economic method for comparing the relative costs and effects of alternative or exclusive courses of actions. CEA is widely used in evaluating various public programs, such as health and social services, but it has not been in standard use in evaluating fire prevention programs. This is partly because of the ambiguity of the expected impacts, but also because of shortcomings in data collection and process designs.
Results The firms aim is to detect general feasibility of CEA in decision making under budget constraints, taking into account all welfare and equity effects and other externalities involved. This provides methodological guidelines for implementing CEA in evaluating and optimising the effectiveness of fire protection. Second, the study aims to test the virtues of CEA by implementing it in selected case studies. This yields practical guidelines and processual suggestions for information based management in fire services.
Conclusions The research is still a work in progress. The conclusions of the analysis is expected to be completed by the end of spring 2016.
- Cost-Effectiveness analysis
- Fire Prevention