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Lessons on Interoperability: The Shootings at Columbine. National Capital Special Operations Symposium Ottawa, Ontario November 14-15, 2012. Presentation Outline. Case Study: Columbine Lessons, Problems, and Barriers Improving Interoperability and Response Outcomes. Columbine High School.
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Lessons on Interoperability: The Shootings at Columbine National Capital Special Operations Symposium Ottawa, Ontario November 14-15, 2012
Presentation Outline • Case Study: Columbine • Lessons, Problems, and Barriers • Improving Interoperability and Response Outcomes
Columbine High School • Approximately 2,000 students • 120 Teachers • 20 Staff Personnel • 75 Classrooms • 25 Exterior Doors • Gymnasium, Cafeteria, Library and Auditorium • 250,000 square feet
Explosives “Walk in, set bombs at 11:09 for 11:17. Leave….”
Improvised Explosive Devices • 46 EXPLODED DEVICES • Outside 2 • Library 26 • Class/Hall 14 • Cafeteria 4 • 30 UNEXPLODED DEVICES • Outside 13 • Library 5 • Class/Halls 6 • Cafeteria 6
Initial Operations: Fire/EMS • Triage/Transport • Transported 26 • Triaged over 160 • Staging Resources • Fire Strike Team • Command and Control • Communications
Initial Operations: Law Enforcement • SWAT • Find shooters • Protect students • Transport wounded • Secure perimeter • Check evacuees for weapons • Reunite parents and students
Jefferson County Schools • Help get students out of building • Account for students • Move students to another location • Reunite students & parents • Mental health service • Victim advocates • Brief families and media
Communications Problems • Controlling ground-space • Incompatible communications • Channel congestion • System overload
Command and Control Problems • Weak coordination • Low situational awareness • Paramedics under fire
Impact • Slows down the response • Creates inefficient use of resources • Reduces operational effectiveness • Endangers first responders
Unified Command: Strategic Objectives • Secure perimeter • Locate/eliminate shooters • Reach/move wounded • Triage, treatment, transport
Joint Operations: Total Response FIRE 6 Departments 166 Personnel EMS 7 Agencies 80 Personnel LAW ENFORCEMENT 28 Agencies Over 900 Personnel
Incident Dynamics • Improvised Explosive Devices • Small Arms Fire • Multiple Casualties • First Responders Taking Fire • Structure Fire • Crime Scene
Incident Details • 188 Shots Fired by Harris and Klebold • 141 Shots Fired by Law Enforcement • 89 Improvised Explosive Devices • 15 Killed • 160+ Triaged • 24 Transported
Lessons Learned • Information • Situational Awareness • Communications • Redundancy • Multi-channel/system operations • Command and Control • Resource Management • Joint Operations • Multiple jurisdictions and disciplines
Common Problems • Planning • Independent Planning • Jurisdictional/Organizational Boundaries • Organizing • Not Coordinated or Integrated • Separate Structure/Process • Communications • Incompatible Systems • Congestion/Overload • Loss of Infrastructure
Operational Outcome Factors • Inter-Organizational Planning • Response Structure • Decision Making Process • Communications Systems
Planning Options • No Planning • Not important, not enough time • Position Based Planning • This person, in this position, does this function • Threat Based Planning • If/Then • Jurisdiction Based Planning • Separate Structure/Process • Capabilities Based Planning • Objectives/Priorities/Resources • Joint Regional Planning • Integrated and Coordinated Structure/Process
Threat Scenario Impact Damage Operations Simple/Complex C3 Requirements Response Planning
Organizational Structure • Separate • Coordinated • Integrated
IC IC IC IC IC O O O O O P P P P P L L L L L Separate Structure A B C E D
IC IC IC O O O P P P L L L Coordinated Structure
Sense Making Decision Making Assessment Planning Execution Action Operational Decision Making Cycle
Social Context of Decision Making • Local view of operations • Local actions effect others • Available time effects success of operations • Common intent to achieve coordinated action • Develop common ground before incident • Consistent exchange and interaction builds social relations
Results of Improved Social Relations • Improves acquisition and interpretation of information • Reduces decision time and improves quality of decisions • Reduces uncertainty regarding roles, responsibilities and abilities • Reduces goal conflict • Improves coordination • Improves ability to adapt
Communications Systems • Effective coordination depends on efficient communication • Development of systems based on typical incidents • High frequency events • Simple • Low information demands • System not capable of dealing with catastrophic incidents • Low frequency events • Complex • High information demands
High Information Exchange Amount and Rate Frequency Low Complexity Simple Complex Multiple: Jurisdictions Disciplines Levels of Government Single: Jurisdiction Discipline Level of Government Frequency and Complexity
Denial/Avoidance Financial Limited Resources Competing Priorities Technical Obsolete Equipment Incompatible Systems Cultural Competition Territorialism Self-Sufficiency Barriers to Integrated Operations
Separate Structure Separate Process Separate Systems Delayed information Inaccurate information Incomplete information Different levels of awareness Unclear reporting relationship Conflicting decision strategies Inefficient resource use Increased risk to personnel Operational Effect
Improving Response Effectiveness • Technology • People
Inter-Organizational Approach • Technological • Independent organizations that need to talk to each other • Communications systems are the primary concern • Operational practices do not need to change • Operational • Inter-dependant organizations that need to work together • Operational systems are the primary concern • Operational practices must change
Definition of Interoperability • Technical Interoperability: the condition achieved among communications systems when information can be exchanged directly and satisfactorily between users • Operational Interoperability: ability of agencies to accept services from other agencies and to use those services so exchanged to enable them to operate effectively together
Common Sense Definition The degree to which organizations or individuals are able to operate together to achieve common goals.
Developing Technological Solutions • Focus • Communications systems, equipment • Purpose • Establish a link – voice/data • Problems • Ignores importance of operational practices • Does not recognize complexity of large scale incidents • Impact • High dollar cost, low impact on effectiveness
Developing Operational Solutions • Focus • Regionalized Operational Networks • Purpose • Integration, Collaboration, Coordination • Problems • Difficult to change organizational culture • Denial, competition, territorialism, self-sufficiency • Impact • Low dollar cost, high impact on effectiveness