Critical learning from fires: an investigation of complexity in IS-enabled emergency management

Andrew Edwards*, Stephen Smith, Peter Busch, Donald Winchester, Felix Tan, Vincent Pang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review


Emergency services and academics alike recognize that in any types of fire, citizens and government must actively interact to prevent the loss of property, lives, economic and environmental impacts. Most fire researches focus on bushfires or wildfires. In this paper, we concentrate particularly on house fires. We apply complexity theory as our lens to investigate the role of Information Systems (IS) in emergencies. Complexity theory improves our learning on the role of IS in emergencies by linking it to Situational Awareness. A significant issue is that the current response paradigm is reactionary i.e. prepare but wait for the emergency call, then respond. We investigate how innovations in digital infrastructures intertwining with elements of complexity found in emergency services, could bring about a shift from a response to a proactive paradigm extending the Comprehensive Emergency Management Framework to include Projection.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPacific Asia Conference on Information Systems, Proceedings
Subtitle of host publicationPACIS 2020
Place of PublicationAtlanta, GA
PublisherAssociation for Information Systems
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2020
EventPacific Asia Conference on Information Systems (24th : 2020) - Virtual, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Duration: 20 Jun 202024 Jun 2020


ConferencePacific Asia Conference on Information Systems (24th : 2020)
Abbreviated titlePACIS 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited Arab Emirates
Internet address


  • Complexity
  • Situational Awareness
  • Emergency Management
  • PPRR


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