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Single article: Professional Capital: Standards of Performance that underlie Interlocal Cooperation

Author: CLAYTON WUKICH
Published in PAQ, Vol. 38 No. 4

Interlocal cooperation is vital for the provision of emergency services. In the absence of a command-and-control hierarchy, the skills and assets demonstrated by personnel within organizations represent forms of professional capital used to signal competence to others and engender future cooperation. This article examines these skills and assets and how they serve as standards of performance to promote trust and facilitate multiparty service delivery. Evidence is drawn from field interviews that document a system of governance focused on the provision of emergency services. Ten standards are examined, including response times, staffing levels, the performance of tasks relevant to the police, fire, and emergency medical services (EMS) disciplines, the use of proper terminology, training levels, the working order of equipment, leadership, effort, the appearance of personnel, and customer service. Network analysis, facilitated by an extensive set of 911 call data, illustrates baseline patterns of interaction that help to frame this case study.

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