Integration of training civilian and military disaster responders
Guercia, Leonard H.
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In the years since the September 11 attacks of 2001, and following the Gulf Coast hurricanes and the earthquake in Haiti, research has shown that first responders and medical institutions remain insufficiently prepared to address the increased demands for emergency response during and following major disasters. The threat from terrorism and natural disasters is very real; thus, the medical "system" will face continual challenges. A brutal recent reminder of this was the international outbreak of the H1N1 virus that caused a worldwide pandemic in 2009, resulting in an increased demand for medical services. In the wake of these disasters, Homeland Security Presidential Directives (HSPD) were issued. Among these, are HSPD 21, Public Health and Medical Preparedness, which requires the establishment of a realistic strategy at all levels of government and across all sectors in the medical response community to meet the demands of contemporary preparedness. Areas of concern include the education and training for future response. To meet these needs, joint training of responders may enhance the efficiency of currently established training methodologies for national disaster teams, civilian hospital personnel, and National Guard and Reserve military emergency medical personnel training in domestic emergency medical deployment and response. The research question to be answered is how can the national policy enterprises design an effective model for the pre-event joint command and control training of disaster responders for both military and civilian operations? The conclusions reached in this research can be used to shape future national and local training policies and curriculum presented to response agency leaders from civil and military agencies.
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