A Model for Fire Departments’ Performance Assessment in Portugal

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Fire departments’ performance assessment (FDPA) is an important task for fire protection service (FPS) authorities to evaluate fire departments’ (FDs) efficiencies, identify the efficient FDs, and identify areas for improvement of the inefficient units. Therefore, many countries all around the world conducted FDPA research and published its results. Although Portugal is a country with many old cities and buildings, to the best of our knowledge, no FDPA study has been conducted. Hence, the objective of this paper is to conduct a FDPA on Portuguese (PT) FDs using the general FDPA framework and slack-based data envelopment analysis. The results of analyzing the 376 PT-FDs’ data in 2020 showed that only 22 out of 376 FDs were efficient; in addition, in most districts in Portugal, less than 10% of FDs were efficient, and a high percentage of FDs had less than 50% efficiency. Further details and findings are discussed, and some recommendations are provided throughout the paper. The paper’s findings could help the FPS decision maker have a better view of the FDs’ performances and take corrective actions to improve efficiencies. It can also help the FDPA evaluator to have a better understanding of how a FDPA can be conducted and discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number31
Number of pages22
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jan 2023


  • data envelopment analysis
  • fire protection services
  • geographical information system
  • performance assessment
  • Portuguese fire departments


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