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

7.2 Common Successes

Common themes throughout the case studies are the use of the incident command system and training for possible incidents.

7.2.1 Incident Command

The first common theme throughout the case studies was the use of an incident command system. In all of the case studies, an incident command was quickly established after the incident, with entities understanding their roles and responsibilities. Not all establishments of an incident command went smoothly, but once established and functioning, the use of an incident command allowed for a unified response to the incident.

7.2.2 Training

The case studies have highlighted the impact of inter-entity training on the management of incidents. Due to training, entities effectively responded to all of the incidents and coordinated their responses. Entities that train together are able to establish a unified command quickly and have a more effective response.

Training ranges from tabletop exercises to full-scale incidents such as a weapons-of-mass-destruction scenario. Inter-entity training provides pre-incident planning with the ability to revise procedures before having to actually exercise them. It allows entities to establish relationships and build on existing ones.

Although the nursing homes and the hospital in this report have not received the type of training applicable to fire or law enforcement departments, the reason their evacuations succeeded was due to their internal training and drills.

Training allows an entity to test its resources in a safe environment and learn from its mistakes safely. Training contributed to the success of the case studies presented in the report.

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