|Journal of Emergency Management ®|
Spring 2003; pages 13-14
Spring 2003; pages 15-18
This paper reviews the dangers associated with ambulances in the United States. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data, vehicle collisions involving ambulances result in twice as many injuries as the national average. Other dangers include: the safety of the vehicle itself; the lack of sufficient occupant protection in the ambulance patient compartment; distractions of the ambulance operator associated with operating lights, sirens, and communication equipment during emergency responses; drowsiness of the ambulance operator associated with extended work hours; and the lack of standardized or tested emergency vehicle operator training. Recommendations for improvement include: safety testing for vehicle crashworthiness, testing of diesel fume exposure among emergency medical services (EMS) personnel, and improved safety procedures for EMS personnel. Every effort must be made to make ambulances the safest vehicles on the roads of the United States.
Spring 2003; pages 19-26
Spring 2003; pages 27-38
Spring 2003; pages 39-48
Since the development of the Australian New Zealand Standard on Risk Management (AS/NZ 4360:1995), the philosophy and concepts have been embraced and applied in many contexts outside of the insurance industry. One of these contexts is emergency management. The reason it has been adopted as a mantra in emergency management is that it appears to make emergency management more "scientific." There appears to be a generally held belief that the more scientific we become, through the incorporation of numbers, the more it will guarantee our successful management of emergencies and disasters. Within the standard, there is brief reference to the need for communication with all "stakeholders." This catch-all phrase would implicitly include the community. But I contend that unless consultation with the community is explicit and specific and we start talking "with" rather than "at" the community, emergency management is treading down a path that could lead to a community perception and reputation that is currently "enjoyed" by the insurance industry.
Spring 2003; pages 49-61
This paper addresses the important role of the community dispatch center (DC) in emergency management. Through a detailed literature search and a survey of professionals in the field, we uncover the problems facing dispatch centers and identify their prospective solutions. We draw upon our experience to discuss the implications of our findings for emergency managers and others involved with dispatch centers. Our hope is that additional attention and resources will be given to dispatch centers to improve their operation in times of disaster.
Spring 2003; pages 62-64
Journal of Emergency Management
Summer 2003, Volume 1, Number 2
Ramification of catastrophic assault on Nation's capital pondered. Experts predict top innovations in national security 10 years out. Administration short-changing homeland security? Florida does its homework for hurricane season. Oklahoma town learns twister lesson.
Summer 2003; pages 5-8
Summer 2003; pages 11-13
Litigation mitigation: Proactive risk management in the wake of the West Warwick club fire
William C. Nicholson, JD
Summer 2003; pages 14-18
Summer 2003; pages 19-21
Devastating events have become commonplace today, debilitating organizations and society the world over. Given the number of emergency workers who must respond during a mass disaster, coordination of communications is essential. However, because forensic workers and other secondary responders are not always equipped with communication devices, a method other than an inefficient telephone chain link is needed to alert emergency workers. In light of this need for a universal alerting system during times of crisis management, the Forensic Disaster Team of the Suffolk County (NY) Medical Examiner has started using a Web-based, real-time, multi-modality alert system for forensic workers and other secondary responders. This article will look at the reasons for choosing this system and the benefits derived from it.
Summer 2003; pages 22-29
What are the causes of disaster? This paper intends to answer this question by examining the impact of Hurricane Georges on the Dominican Republic in 1998. The paper explores the geographic and developmental context of the Caribbean nation, identifies the many factors that contributed to the disaster, and looks at the subsequent effects and response operations. The paper underscores how numerous variables from the physical and social environments interact to produce a disaster. It concludes with suggestions for improving disaster management operations in the future.
Summer 2003; pages 30-34
This paper discusses the role of higher education in hazard, disaster, emergency, risk, and crisis management, as it pertains to escalating disaster losses in the United States and an evolving emergency management profession. Given that these losses have been escalating for decades and are projected to become even larger, what is being done today in terms of emergency management is not adequate. The time is now for a new national approach to disaster-related emergency management, one that calls on colleges and universities to help bridge the gap between the emergency management body of knowledge and current practices. This paper describes one tool for bridging this gap--FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute Higher Education Project--as well as evolving educational opportunities for students and emergency management practitioners.
Summer 2003; pages 35-38
Although Emergency Operating Centers (EOCs) are the focal point of disaster response operations, little systematic or empirical information is available to guide their effective design. This paper reviews literature on EOCs, focusing on site location (for both primary EOCs and secondary and ad hoc EOCs), types of rooms, and internal design. Its conclusion: During this time of increasing disasters and potential terrorism, a systematic analysis is needed to determine how to design and configure effective EOCs.
Summer 2003; pages 39-46
According to the New York Post, New York police officers are to be on the lookout for “men who appear freshly shaven with cuts or nicks—which could indicate a beard had just been removed—as well as anyone with ill-fitting uniforms or ‘unfamiliar forms’ of identification.”1 American citizens are anxious about their futures, partly because of the inability to identify a terrorist. Consulting statistician W. Edwards Deming popularized the phrase, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.”
As part of a mission to prevent human aggression, the author has developed a means of measuring aggression, for use in schools, businesses, and government agencies. After September 11, 2001, these principles of measurement were extended to include identifying a terrorist. This article describes the Complete Aggression Continuum, as well as how and why measuring aggression works.
Fall 2003; pages 24-27
Fall 2003; pages 28-29
Fall 2003; pages 30-36
The most severe tornado of spring, 2002, did not occur in Tornado Alley but in La Plata, MD. It was first classified as an F5 but then reclassified as an F4 on the Fujita Tornado Intensity Scale. This paper examines preparedness, response, and recovery issues by studying the town of La Plata (a bedroom community south of Washington, DC), Charles County, Maryland, and the National Weather Service. Methods employed included a site visit, field observations, and interviews.
Fall 2003; pages 37-41
Fire response drills are mandatory for healthcare organizations as a part of the accreditation process, as well as other companies. However, measuring the effectiveness of these exercises can be a challenge. An Internet fire response form was developed to improve fire response education for nurses and other healthcare staff, facilitate the process of measuring fire drill results, and promote the efficiency of fire drill documentation through a paperless work environment. The results indicate that leveraging the Internet with an electronic response instrument can improve fire preparedness as well as the documentation processes.
Fall 2003; pages 42-48
The author’s 1998 white paper (completed for the US Department of Defense as a result of Presidential Decision Directive 39) applied the research literature on behavioral and organizational response to outline what might occur in the aftermath of a terrorist attack. It argued that it presented the best model available and should be applied when developing mitigation, preparedness, and response plans in anticipation of possible domestic nuclear, biological, and chemical terrorism. The terrorism events of September 11, 2001, have provided a basis for assessing this argument. The current article reviews the earlier argument by using updated disaster research to describe the behavioral and organizational response challenges a community or nation would likely encounter in a terrorist attack with weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Anecdotal evidence from the events of 9/11 is included to assess the efficacy of the literature as a model.