Assignment Objective: Identify, analyze, and assess the leadership attributes most commonly associated with exceptional professionals within the field of public safety administration.
For the last assignment prepare a Crisis Leadership Response Plan detailing how you would lead and manage a notional public safety crisis. Whether faced with a natural disaster, public health crisis, civil unrest, terrorism event, or other man-made crisis events, you will lead this effort by applying the varied leadership styles discussed in the course. This Crisis Leadership Response Plan will focus on how crisis leadership (NOT crisis management) and other leadership styles can be applied in resolving a public safety crisis.
Select one scenario from the list below in which you will lead your agency through the crisis. Select the type of public service agency you will lead through this crisis (law enforcement, fire services, emergency management, etc.) and apply the various leadership concepts learned in the course. For example, consider leading individuals who may not be under your direct control and supervision. Also, consider how to apply these leadership styles in interacting with members of the local government, media, and community.
The scenarios you can select from are:
- Pandemic outbreak: The world has been devastated by the COVID–19 pandemic. This pandemic has created unprecedented disruption throughout the United States and continues to spread. Your region has been significantly impacted by the pandemic with a high number of positive cases, hospitalizations, and deaths.
- Devastating wildfires: The US is experiencing a devastating number of seasonal wildfires affecting large portions of the western United States and Canada. The National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) reported in mid-October there have been 46,535 wildfires that have burned 8,427,589 acres this year, threatening several highly populated areas. These intense wildfires have required a sustained emergency response from the public and private sectors.
- Civil unrest: The Summer of 2020 highlighted the growing civil unrest in many US cities. Your city is experiencing continuous unrest as a result of a police-involved shooting. There have been widespread protests and complaints about law enforcement policies and funding.
Your paper should include the following:
- Describe the crisis.
- Research about the crisis situation including information supporting your crisis leadership plan
- Identify the public safety sector selected (law enforcement, fire services, emergency medical, emergency response, etc)
- Analyze the crisis situation as a public safety leader
- Explain your agency’s role in the crisis.
- Describe other organizations that may be involved and whose members you may have to lead.
- Assess the crisis leadership challenges in the public safety environment the issue presents, including identifying and discussing the ethical issues the case highlights.
- Discuss other leadership concepts that can be applied in a crisis situation.
- Assess any ethical, legal, and decision-making challenges.
- Develop a leadership plan for handling the media relations during the crisis
The paper should be a minimum of eight (8) pages (not including the title and reference pages), double-spaced, using 12-point font. The paper must be formatted in accordance with APA 7th Edition requirements. The paper must cite at least one (1) academic or professional reference for each page written (a minimum of eight (8) references).
The Crisis Leadership Plan must include:
- Title page
- Executive summary (no more than one (1) page highlighting the main points of the plan).
- Main body of the plan
- Section headings (formatted in accordance with APA 7th Edition)
- Conclusion (summarizing the plan).
- Reference page
Expert Answer and Explanation
A major effect of the covid-19 crisis in my region is the straining of health resources such as oxygen ventilators and health personnel. To correct the situation in the place of a public safety leader, one would have to identify all the relevant bodies to work with, such as the American Red Cross association, which would help in the health aspects of the managing the challenge. My agency would be responsible for providing the required resources, including but not limited to human labor, funds, vaccination, and also distributing them in the most desirable way. It would also help to foresee and reduce the occurrence of possible ethical, legal, and decision-making issues in the course of the implementation.
The current coronavirus pandemic has claimed multiple lives and deteriorated the lives of many individuals. Since its first appearance in December 2019 in Wuhan, China, the effects of the disease has been witnessed in all other parts of the world, with the US being one of the primary affected countries. Public health managers help in managing such crisis through launching strategic action in response to the specific needs that are as a result of the operations (Forster, Patlas, & Lexa, 2020). In my position as a public leader in the midst of a Covid-19 pandemic in the region, I would work with other agencies to launch strategic action that would efficiently mitigate the effects of the condition and hence improve the lives of the affected individuals.
Description of the Crisis
The crisis involves the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic in my region. Over the past one year, the number of positive incident cases and hospitalized patients has been increasing significantly. The number of patient deaths has also been growing tremendously, leading to an increase in the requirements of the hospital beds as well as other equipment that are required to manage the increasing patient needs (Jin, Meng, & Berger, 2017). Sadly, the pandemic has not only affected the healthcare sector, but has had a significant implication on the economic well-being of the populations. Specifically, due to the pandemic, the working hours were reduced and the nonessential services completely shut down (Stern, 2017). This reduced the ability of most of the citizens to do part time and other jobs that initially helped to sustain their needs after the regular income makes it hard even for them to access other services such as healthcare. The pandemic has also led to other problems such as public protests in opposition to the measures put by the government to control the disease spread.
My crisis leadership plan involves coordinating the responsible parties to attend to the immediate occurrences that are as a direct result of the crisis. The medical personnel are the key individuals as the first response is to check for the victims of the medical crisis that could result in any eventuality. For example, if someone had been infected by the condition and is unaware of it or tries to manage it at home without the doctor’s intervention, it could reach a point in which they are out of artificial oxygen ventilation, failure to which they would die (Veenema et al., 2017). The crisis leadership plan entails identifying some of the hardest hit regions and populations and allocating them with the necessary resources including human resources and funds to facilitate the management of any occurrences.
How the Crisis Affects a Public Safety Sector
The crisis affects the emergency medical department as a public safety sector because of the straining of resources that is directly associated with the crisis. In the event of the occurrence of the crisis in a specific location, the medical personnel that would be used in the crisis are the same who attend to regular patients in that region. As a result, there would be an imbalance in the number of medical staff needed and the medical staff available. The nurses responsible for caring for the patients in the wards and ICU, for instance, would have to work with the covid-19 patients in the crisis regions to help them at least salvage their lives (Sadiq, Kapucu, & Hu, 2020). This situation would also call for the increase in the total amount of work hours for the healthcare personnel, which reduces the time they could otherwise spend on their own to rest and reenergize for the next tasks. The cases of increased burnout among nurses and other medical personnel hence occur and reduce the delivery of healthcare to the regular members of the public. Specifically, when healthcare givers have clinical burnout, they are more likely to make medical errors, some of which are dangerous to the recovery process of the patient. Also, they are likely to perform operations such as diagnosis imperfectly, where they would diagnose and treat patients for the wrong diseases. In such case scenarios, the members of public are directly affected in that the costs of care are raised significantly due to the increase of negative aspects such as re-hospitalization and readmission.
Another way in which the occurrence of the crisis situation affects the pubic medical sector is the creation of scarcity in medical equipment and supplies. To attend to any Covid-19 patient, healthcare givers need to have their full personal protective equipment to avoid catching the highly contagious disease. The hospitals, when procuring for equipment to be used in the care of patients, usually set a budget that would be used to manage all the equipment needs that may occur within the facility (Fernandez & Shaw, 2020). With the crisis situation, it would be impossible to sustain the facilities involved in responding with their initial budgets, which calls for an ultimate increase in the total costs of operation. Besides increasing the costs of individual healthcare that would have to be initiated to fill the deficiency, some facilities have to introduce salary cuts and other measures such as reducing on costly employee privileges (Gigliotti, 2017). Unfortunately, these changes are more impactful on the patients as the end result is the reduction in the quality of care while increasing the costs.
Analysis of the Crisis Situation as a Public Safety Leader
As a public safety leader, my analysis of the crisis situation is intended to highlight all the issues that could not be visible to other members of the public. First, it is evident that the issue is not a regular occurrence, which greatly affects the type of intervention that is launched. Specifically, from the experts’ point of view, the Covid-19 pandemic may be like any of the other historical pandemics such as small pox which occurred at a point in history, killed a lump sum of people, but those who survived and their descendants could easily protect themselves using the small pox vaccine (Beilstein et al., 2020). Even if the current pandemic would last for some time longer than the past world pandemics, it is evident that the crisis situation do not have permanence as its life depends on the human response to the same.
Similarly, the crisis situation is one which is tied to many other aspects of wellness of the human life. Public safety leadership entails the incorporation of different aspects of the realm of the public. For example, the increasing costs of care for individuals due to the situation would reduce their likelihood to visit healthcare facilities over other regular problems that seem manageable without the consultation of a medical practitioner (Beilstein et al., 2020). The Government input that includes stipends to the members of the public to cushion the effects of the lock down would mean that the overall amount of tax payable would increase drastically.
The Agency’s (Emergency Medical) Role in the Crisis
My emergency medical agency is expected to halt most of the problems that are associated with the crisis situation by mitigating the challenges associated while preventing the occurrence of future situations. One of the primary roles of the agency would be ensuring that there is enough staff to attend to any form of crisis situation. As the leader of the agency, I would launch a committee to assess how the current staff working in the medical department would be increased. At the moment, there are unemployed individuals who mostly work in hospitals on locum basis, and the first consideration could be their recruitment to permanent positions through which they would be able to manage the conditions more efficiently.
The agency would also device numerous alternative methods of recruiting the staff members that are required to attend to the crisis situation. Some of the eligible individuals are the current medical students or people who have a background in medical knowledge that are not yet employed. The most important aspect of implementation of this procedure would be training. That is, the management of emergency situations of covid-19 patients would need skilled workers so as to increase the chances of positive results as well as protect the workers from the associated risks of working with the patients (Fragouli, 2020). The agency would therefore develop a free two months training program in which all people would be taught on the do’s and don’ts in the field, such as ways of disposing the used personal protective equipment and also wearing them correctly.
Other Organizations that may be involved
The American Red Cross is among the other key organizations that would be involved in the emergency crisis situation. In most of the places where severe impacts of Covid-19 are seen, the ARC has had prior programs aimed at helping the vulnerable including the homeless and poor populations that cannot afford regular medical care. Professionals from ARC are more likely to be well experienced in dealing with emergency situations compared to healthcare professionals from the hospitals. Hence, when devising plans to correct the current situation, it would be prudent to consult them as well for both financial support and humanitarian aid.
The agency would also work closely with governing bodies such as the county administration so as to efficiently reach out to assist people who are affected by the crisis situation. This collaboration would help to identify the people who need sincere help and whose life has completely been transformed due to the occurrence of the pandemic. I may have to lead the members of these organizations since I am the person who has the plan to solve the emergency situation, and it is best if they assume the followership position despite their expertise and appearance in the public forum. For example, despite the leaders of ARC having a lot of experience in the field of solving emergency health occurrences, they would not be well positioned to lead the operation since they are not well-acquainted with the plan I would use to control the entire emergency situation.
Challenges Presented by the Crisis Leadership
The primary challenge presented by the crisis leadership is possible disagreement over the allocation of resources. Since funds management issues are among the most common limited resource in any operation, the agency is likely to encounter serious dilemmas in some of the issues that should be invested in to solve the deficiencies. For instance, the lack or delay of medical supplies to attend to an emergency situation in a new location may render the agency less effective as it cannot help the affected populations in a timely fashion (McLeod & Dulsky, 2021). Similarly, the issue of compensation would possibly be a challenge, where workers from other agencies would possibly have a threshold of compensation that is not within the allocated budget. Another primary challenge that could be encountered is the conflict of opinion, where some affiliate organizations’ strategies may not be implemented because of their lack of alignment to the mission of the agency. As a result, there would be numerous situations of conflict among the leadership that would be hard to correct without external intervention.
Other Leadership Concepts that can be applied in a Crisis Situation
Like in the law enforcement sector, authoritarian leadership is the one that would fit best in the current crisis situation. Under this leadership concept, it is easy for authority to be translated to the subjects who have little or no knowledge about the strategy being implemented (Dirani et al., 2020). Since there are times of emergency when lawlessness prevails because of the underlying frustrations of the victims of the situations, using authoritarian leadership would help to achieve the best implications. Democracy would also be applied when dealing with other associated organizations such as the ARC, where their opinions would be considered in the implementation of the decisions on the basis of both majority and merit.
Ethical, Legal, and Decision-making Challenges
The primary decision-making challenge that would be encountered would be in the event that the limited resources make it hard to implement some of the decisions. For example, when choosing whether to compensate people in the field or train new staff in preparation of the future similar situations, it is likely to be challenging to arrive at the decision of best fit. Ethical challenges that would result from the issue would be the decision of whether to attend to the ageing patients who are affected by the situation or the younger individuals who currently have a chance to improve society in future. Also, the ethical dilemma of whether or not the agency should consider serving those with financial resources during things such as vaccination against the Covid-19 pandemic over those who need the services more is prevalent (Dückers et al., 2017). A legal challenge that could occur is the authorization of unlicensed nurses and other unlicensed personnel to complete healthcare operations in the environment such as prescribing medications.
Leadership Plan for Handling Media Relations through the Crisis
The leadership plan for handling the media relations would entail the introduction of a sub-agency that would be working to collect and analyze all the information that results from the care operations. The sub agency would scrutinize the suitability of the data in the eyes of the general public and filter all the elements that would be disastrous to the agency. For example, if there is a case of embezzlement of funds to solve the crisis situation by one of the officials, the media would not only mention the scandal, but would also highlight some of the steps and achievements in the recovery process.
As a public safety leader, there are many decisions that I would be entitled to make when managing a public health emergency problem, such as that of the ongoing Covid-19 crisis. Among the key processes that I would help my agency to undertake is procuring enough staff to the field so as to reduce the implications that the action has on the human resources section. I would also engage other agencies such as the American Red Cross, and use a combination of the authoritarian and democratic leadership styles to manage them.
Beilstein, C. M., Lehmann, L. E., Braun, M., Urman, R. D., Luedi, M. M., & Stüber, F. (2020). Leadership in a time of crisis: Lessons learned from a pandemic. Best Practice & Research Clinical Anaesthesiology. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bpa.2020.11.011
Dirani, K. M., Abadi, M., Alizadeh, A., Barhate, B., Garza, R. C., Gunasekara, N., & Majzun, Z. (2020). Leadership competencies and the essential role of human resource development in times of crisis: a response to Covid-19 pandemic. Human Resource Development International, 23(4), 380-394. https://doi.org/10.1080/13678868.2020.1780078
Dückers, M. L., Yzermans, C. J., Jong, W., & Boin, A. (2017). Psychosocial crisis management: the unexplored intersection of crisis leadership and psychosocial support. Risk, Hazards & Crisis in Public Policy, 8(2), 94-112. https://doi.org/10.1002/rhc3.12113
Fernandez, A. A., & Shaw, G. P. (2020). Academic leadership in a time of crisis: The coronavirus and COVID‐19. Journal of Leadership Studies, 14(1), 39-45. https://doi.org/10.1002/jls.21684
Forster, B. B., Patlas, M. N., & Lexa, F. J. (2020). Crisis leadership during and following COVID-19. https://doi.org/10.1177/0846537120926752
Fragouli, E. (2020). A critical examination of the interaction of crisis leadership & corporate reputation. Business and Management Review, 11(1), 97-111. https://discovery.dundee.ac.uk/en/publications/a-critical-examination-of-the-interaction-of-crisis-leadership-am
Gigliotti, R. A. (2017). The social construction of crisis in higher education:: implications for crisis leadership theory and practice (Doctoral dissertation, Rutgers University-Graduate School-New Brunswick). https://doi.org/doi:10.7282/T3G73HM8
Jin, Y., Meng, J., & Berger, B. (2017). The influence of communication leadership qualities on effective crisis preparedness strategy implementation: Insights from a global study. Communication Management Review, 2(01), 8-29. https://doi.org/10.22522/cmr20170118
McLeod, S., & Dulsky, S. (2021, March). Resilience, Reorientation, and Reinvention: School Leadership During the Early Months of the COVID-19 Pandemic. In Frontiers in Education (Vol. 6, p. 70). Frontiers. https://doi.org/10.3389/feduc.2021.637075
Sadiq, A. A., Kapucu, N., & Hu, Q. (2020). Crisis leadership during COVID-19: the role of governors in the United States. International Journal of Public Leadership. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPL-08-2020-0071
Stern, E. K. (2017). Crisis, leadership, and extreme contexts. In Leadership in Extreme Situations (pp. 41-59). Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-55059-6_3
Veenema, T. G., DeRuggiero, K., Losinski, S. L., & Barnett, D. (2017). Crisis Leadership and Decision-Making: Hospital Administration and Nurse Leaders’ Concerns for Disaster Response. http://hdl.handle.net/10755/621629
Other Answered Questions: