The next best thing to being there is learning the lessons firsthand from someone who was. Now emergency-response agencies that have never dealt with a World Trade Center or a Murrah Building can tap the wisdom of those who have through Responding to Incidents of National Consequence, a new publication from the U.S. Fire Administration’s National Fire Programs Division.
The 116-page document is a local responder’s guide to dealing with major multijurisdictional events that have national consequences and may involve national resources. Its issues and recommendations come from after-action reports and interviews with leaders whose organizations responded to such events as the 9/11 attacks, the 2001 anthrax mailings and the 1995 bombing of Oklahoma City’s Murrah Building.
“This report is important for those emergency-response leaders who coordinate or support local incident management at major or complex emergencies and disasters,” Homeland Security Undersecretary Michael Brown said of its release. “The guidance will help them function efficiently and effectively under the National Incident Management System (NIMS).”
The report’s recommendations and conclusions are divided into four areas: awareness, prevention and preparedness; initial response; the stabilized event and ongoing recovery; and post-event long-term recovery. A checklist of issues and steps to take at each stage is included, as is a guide to NIMS.
The report will be issued to students enrolling in certain courses at the National Fire Academy; it can also be downloaded at www.usfa.fema.gov/downloads/pdf/publications/fa-282.pdf.