Quantifying The Negative

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Saylors-thumbFor most homeland security agencies, success is measured by preventing events. However, when it comes to budgets it can be hard to quantify what didn’t happen and make the case for continued funding. For Sacramento Fire Captain Eric Saylors (cohort 1403/1404), his department’s performance was measured in terms of tangible loss reduction, but the metric was flawed because it ignored the unmeasured performance of a fire department that saved nearby at-risk properties and businesses. So he proposed a new measurement of success: the saved ratio. This new metric quantifies damages and business losses that were prevented thanks to the suppression actions of an effective fire department and includes that as part of the department’s value.

Read Saylors’ thesis: Quantifying The Negative [pdf]

The Reflecting PoolMore episodes from the Reflecting Pool podcast.

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