Clearing the Smoke: The Changing Identities and Work in Firefighting

Christopher A. Le Dantec
Alyssa Rumsey

The impact of computing devices on the nature of work has been a long-standing topic of inquiry. Removing the boundaries of traditional corporate organizations, the evolution from fixed ICT to mobile IoT has enabled a technology driven future, taking transformative technology off the desk and placing it in the field. The exponential increase, in mobility and reduction in cost have expanded accessibility to whole new categories of work including emergency response, manufacturing, and construction. There is a need to revitalize organizational studies alongside emerging technologies as new structures and environments make the kinds of initial questions in organizational studies relevant again. We present a qualitative investigation examining the implementation of a wearable device into two fire departments in the Southeastern United States. Our analysis demonstrates the importance of understanding how these types of new digital technologies impact organizations and shape how we educate and train the next generation workforce.

Christopher Le Dantec

The Participatory Publics Lab is a group of researchers concerned with community engagement and design. We are part of the Digital Media program in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication at Georgia Tech.

We explore the design of mobile and social media in the context of community development and activism. We do this through different modes of participation: in the design of these technologies; in the development of discourses about these technologies; in the use, adoption, and appropriation of these technologies.

We investigate forms of civic and community engagement through participatory design, design research, ethnographic research, and critical scholarship. Our research is supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and as part of the Intel Science and Technology Center in Social Computing (ISTC-Social).