Protecting Emergency Responders
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Protecting Emergency Responders Volume 3: Safety Management in Disaster and Terrorism Response Brian A. Jackson John C. Baker M. Susan Ridgely James T. Bartis Herbert I. Linn. Emergency Responders are a Vital Part of U.S. Homeland Security, and Must be Protected.

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Protecting Emergency RespondersVolume 3: Safety Management in Disaster and Terrorism ResponseBrian A. JacksonJohn C. BakerM. Susan RidgelyJames T. BartisHerbert I. Linn

Emergency responders are a vital part of u s homeland security and must be protected
Emergency Responders are a Vital Part of U.S. Homeland Security, and Must be Protected

  • The United States faces a two-pronged threat of a major crisis

    • Natural disasters have always been a risk

    • The risk of terrorist violence has increased in the past five years

  • Emergency responders play a critical role in protecting the public in situations of this magnitude

  • When emergency responders are injured or killed, it impairs the nation’s ability to respond

  • National disasters almost always begin locally

    • A crisis can hit any community

    • Federal action can make local responders safer—and more effective

  • Policy question
    Policy Question Security, and Must be Protected

    How do we bring together and employ all

    the capabilities and resources needed

    to protect responders during major disasters?

    Rand and niosh undertook a study to answer this question
    RAND and NIOSH Undertook a Study to Answer this Question Security, and Must be Protected

    • Defined “responders” broadly for the purposes of the study

      • the full range of organizations involved in disaster response

    • Conducted a comprehensive review of the existing literature

    • Gathered extensive input from the responder community

      • interviews with leadership

      • in-depth studies of four major incidents

      • workshop with key representatives of the community

    • Subjected recommendations to rigorous quality review

    Gather Security, and Must be Protected






    & Make


    Managing the Safety of Emergency Responders Involves Three Main Functions

    • Gather information on:

      • hazards

      • responders

      • safety capabilities

    • Analyze available data & make decisions about safety

    • Communicate safety information and implement decisions

    During routine operations response agencies follow established safety practices
    During “Routine” Operations, Response Agencies Follow Established Safety Practices

    • In “routine” operations, individual organizations are responsible for the safety of their own personnel

    • The hazards they face and the activities they perform are relatively familiar and predictable

    • They use established procedures—designed for these familiar situations—to carry out the three safety-management functions

    But major disasters are far from routine
    But Major Disasters are Far from Routine... Established Safety Practices

    • They impose unfamiliar conditions

      • cover large geographic areas

      • last for extended periods of time

      • involve unusual or intense hazards

      • damage or destroy needed infrastructures

    • They exceed the capability of any individual response organization

      • require capabilities that individual organizations do not normally maintain

      • involve many different types of response organizations

    As a result, responders face greater risks.

    Photos: Andrea Booher, FEMA; FEMA News Photo

    Disaster situations can break down the safety management cycle at every stage

    Gather Established Safety Practices






    & Make


    Disaster Situations Can Break Down the Safety Management Cycle at Every Stage

    Unfamiliar & extreme conditions make it hard to collect data on hazards & responders

    Scale of the event & involvement of multiple organizations impede efforts to implement safety decisions

    Lack of needed expertise & resources creates problems assessing safety threats

    The report by rand niosh focuses on two key strategies to address management shortfalls
    The Report by RAND & NIOSH Focuses on Two Key Strategies to Address Management Shortfalls

    • Establish the capabilities to perform the safety-management functions under disaster conditions

    • Approach safety management from an integrated perspective

      • protects the safety of all responders

      • makes the specialized safety resources of different organizations available to all

      • provides ways of addressing safety issues that are inherently interagency

    Study identified a range of recommendations to improve safety management

    Gather Address Management Shortfalls






    & Make


    Study Identified a Range of Recommendations to Improve Safety Management

    • Preparedness for:

      • Hazard monitoring, workforce data management, and injury reporting

      • Risk assessment and management

      • Safety equipment planning and logistics

      • Risk communication, safety enforcement, medical interventions, and resource management

    • The safety capabilities of all responding organizations must be integrated effectively

      • NIMS/NRP adopts this perspective, but implementation is still an issue.