Office of Operations
21st Century Operations Using 21st Century Technologies

5.8 Coordination

Interviewees mentioned the coordination and cooperation of all of the different entities involved. The incident allowed the entities to realize that no one entity could handle the incident on its own and help was needed. For this incident, 15 entities assisted ranging from the fire department, police department, Utah Highway Patrol, Utah Division of Emergency Services, Unified Fire Authority, Salk Lake City/County Health Department, Utah Department of Transportation, and Federal Bureau of Investigation. The incident strengthened existing relationships among the entities.

The incident tested the entities and was on a bigger scale than originally anticipated. Mitigation measures were taken quickly, and the interviewees feel they are more prepared for the next time. While the incident involved different entities and different disciplines, the entities worked as a team, and the relationships after the incident are “great.”

Salt Lake County is comprised of 16 cities and 10 fire departments. Some of the fire departments specialize in various HazMat specialties. For example, the Midvale Fire Department specializes in research and has a mobile research unit, while the Sandy City Fire Department specializes in decontamination and has a mobile decontamination unit. When incidents occur, the fire departments in Salt Lake County know the resources available to them and utilize them as appropriate. There is cooperation among the fire departments regarding resources.

The Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) was involved in this incident but to a minimal degree. The LEPC was notified and was part of the incident command. The LEPC provided a mobile command post for the incident.

Other entities also provided assets and equipment. The Utah Department of Public Safety provided a mobile command post, helicopter, and public information officers. The Utah Highway Patrol provided troopers, while the Utah Department of Transportation provided barricades and signage for the road closures.

February 6, 2006
Publication #FHWA-HOP-08-014