Terrorism awareness and education as a prevention strategy for first responders
Welch, Alicia L.
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Fire service personnel are ideally suited to contribute to the concerted national effort of homeland security. If they intend to be an effective component of this effort then a revamping of existing preparedness activities must occur. This thesis will analyze the effectiveness of the Los Angeles Fire Departments counterterrorism efforts to date. The central argument is that much more needs to be accomplished in the area of prevention strategies. The way ahead will require an analysis of the impediments to change which continue to obstruct the department's progress toward preventative measures. Barriers discussed herein are leadership, firefighting culture, lack of training and educational opportunities, and ineffective use of community involvement. The citizens of the United States have benefited from awareness and prevention programs in the past. Three models were considered to determine which attributes could be extracted and used to construct the foundation for a terrorism prevention model. Frameworks used in some nationally recognized agendas were studied in order to draw information for the development of a terrorism awareness program for first responders. Relative to each of these issues, a recommended course of action specific to the LAFD will be outlined in considerable detail.
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