Understanding levels of compliance with emergency responder instructions for members of the Public involved in emergencies: Evidence from the Grenfell Tower fire

Francis Long*, Arnab Majumdar, Holly Carter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Purpose: It is essential to understand how members of the public make decisions during emergencies. Such understanding is crucial in order to understand how emergency services can best influence positive protective behaviours. Previous research in this area has indicated that members of the public will respond both to the threat from an incident such as a fire as well the way the threat is managed by emergency responders and that this management will be crucial in increasing public willingness to comply with emergency services instructions. 

Aims: The study aimed to identify factors that affected the way in which those involved in the Grenfell Tower Fire behaved and develop the understanding of factors that affect public behaviour during large scale emergencies. 

Design/methodology/approach: This paper used 72 transcripts from the Grenfell Tower Inquiry to examine how members of the public make decisions during emergencies. The study utilised a Framework Analysis to identify themes relating to how members of the public made decisions regarding protective actions and what factors influenced these decisions. 

Findings: The study identifies several key factors which influenced individuals' decision making concerning protective actions: - Uncertainty and Anxiety. - Environmental Factors in Evacuation Decision Making. - Trust. - Helping and Co-Operative Behaviours in Emergencies. 

Originality/value: Data involving real life emergencies is extremely useful in providing support to the development of emergency procedures and training for emergency services. The research identifies several key factors which can inform a better understanding of public behaviour during emergencies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103374
JournalInternational Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
Volume84
Early online date20 Oct 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: HC is funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research Health Protection Research Unit (NIHR HPRU) in Emergency Preparedness and Response, a partnership between the UK Health Security Agency, King's College London and the University of East Anglia. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NIHR, UKHSA or the Department of Health and Social Care.

Open Access: This is an open access article under the CC BY license
(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

Publisher Copyright: © 2022 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

Citation: Francis Long, Arnab Majumdar, Holly Carter, Understanding levels of compliance with emergency responder instructions for members of the Public involved in emergencies: Evidence from the Grenfell Tower fire, International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, Volume 84, 2023, 103374, ISSN 2212-4209,
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdrr.2022.103374.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdrr.2022.103374.

Keywords

  • Emergency planning
  • Emergency response
  • Public behaviour

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