The main aim of the research is to develop quality evidence that use of cell phones alone in emergency response is not enough. It will make the emergency response agencies move with haste towards integrating pagers in the system. Sometimes, mobile phones may fail due to low network, power failure, or even due to someone living in a place where use of cell phones is not allowed or risky. It aims at showing that pagers can complement cell phones since they can be used in instances when cell phones are not available.
The efficiency of cell phones and their application is a topic that has received substantial exploration by many scholars in the past. The efficiency of pagers and how they can supplement cell phones has also been studied by several researchers. It is unfortunate that not all people can afford a cell phone, and some of those who already have phones cannot maintain them for a long time, and in some instances they find themselves phoneless. However, according to Jenkins and Dorwins (2007), mobile phones are more prevalent among the youth while the majority of the elderly do not have them. Use of mobile phones is banned in certain formal workplaces as observed by Campbell (2006). These are areas where cell phones can only be used at times and people often leave them at home to avoid breaking the rules. It means that in case of an emergency, these people cannot use their cell phones to get help. According to Meyers (2008), cell phones can trigger explosions in some risky places such as mining areas. They are hot spots of accidents and use of cell phones during emergency times is impossible. According to the statistics collected in 2004, pagers were found to be more effective in many places where cell phones cannot be used. Gilgory’s (2004) summary of a study conducted on the efficiency of pagers concluded that more lives would be saved if pagers were to be used when responding to emergencies than it used to be the case. According to Harper (2006), mobile phones are not allowed in many academic institutions thus creating a barrier to emergency responses in case of a disaster. The cell phones network is also not reliable as stated by Campbell (2006). If this is the case, then pagers can be an alternative.
The research design should be the one which adequately seeks to answer vividly this question. In this research, descriptive qualitative research design will be used. This design aims at exploring life experiences, and a meaning is derived from them. With this research, one can explore comprehensively feelings and experiences of people and derive a conclusion out of them. Descriptive research will enable us to describe the results in a comprehensive way without any bias.
The research is going to use structured and semi-structured interviews. It is the proposed primary research tactic. The interviews begin on May, 2013. These interviews will have open-ended questions such as: “What do you think is the commonest method of communication during an emergency?” It is anticipated that we shall interview about two thousand respondents, and any other follow-up interview will also be carried out. All interviews will be recorded in a tape so that actual words of the respondents can be quoted during analyses. Each interview is expected to take from thirty to thirty five minutes. As stated, all interviews will be conducted in a formal way and with open-ended questions. Face to face interviews will enable the researcher to observe any non-verbal ways of communication from the respondent.
Besides interviews, there will be another group that will be carrying out field notes and observations. It will be intended to capture any information that the respondents may have omitted. Open-ended questions will facilitate getting all views of the respondents since they will not be restricted by questions.
The target population of this research is men and women who are eighteen years and above. There will not be any consideration of race or education background. It will also target people who have had an encounter with an emergency situation. It is going to explore on how they responded to the situation and whether the method they used was effective. Also, it will target those who live in disaster-prone areas and research on the main method of communication they use. It includes those who live near mining areas and areas prone to tsunamis and other dangerous occurrences.
The targeted number of people to be interviewed is approximately two thousand. Random sampling method will be used. It will ensure that every element of the population will be having equal chances of being interviewed. There will a fixed number of interviewers distributed in every state, and each state will have an equal number of respondents. There will be no compensation of the respondents so as to minimize the cost of the project. The research will not only concentrate in towns and cities but also in villages.
Expected Results and Data Analysis
The researcher expects enough data that will enable him or her to draw the conclusion that pagers and cell phones should be combined to enhance efficiency in emergency response agencies. Many people are expected to give answers that will enhance this conclusion to be made. Data analysis is aimed at presenting data in an organized and structured manner so that one can be able to derive a meaning from it. Data analyses will be conducted as the interviews will be taking place.
Conclusion and Recommendation
Using two devices in communication is better than one since one may fail to operate and be complemented by the other. Therefore, the recommendation to the top management in emergency response agencies is to incorporate both cell phones and pagers in emergency responses.