Assessing automatic aid as an emergency response model
Gretz, Raymond C.
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The Northern Virginia Mutual Response (NVMR) Agreement is a time-tested successful model of an automatic-aid system. Since the 1970s, neighboring jurisdictions have collaborated and developed trust while providing efficient service to the public. Political borders do not create barriers to emergency services but provide an opportunity for collaboration. This thesis sought to answer (a) How does the automatic-aid response model work? (b) What benefits and challenges do participants experience? (c) What factors influence the adoption and continuation of automatic aid? The methodology of this research was a multiple case study of three participating jurisdictions in the NVMR Agreement. The analysis triangulated data from three levels of three organizations, along with various documents to describe feelings, experiences, and causes within the NVMR Agreement. The conclusions of this study stem from the common themes found in the data. Automatic aid leverages resources to maximize efficiency and has several additional benefits including increased levels of leadership, collaboration, and trust.
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