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Date: July 02, 2015 Author: Brandon Winters

The term multi-agency response refers to an emergency response effort that involves more than one organization. For example, a major explosion in a building often entails an immediate response by firefighters, police, hazmat crews and EMT crews. How well these agencies work together in the response effort is determined by the concept of unified command, which refers to a set of command protocols that helps to organize and expedite a multi-agency response effort.

Situations That Involve Multi-Agency Response

There are several types of situations that can result in a multi-agency response. Below, we look at some of the most common situations that require the response of multiple agencies to the site of the event. For more detailed information about how to handle these situations in terms of providing unified command, order the Mastering Unified Command DVD from our online store.

Severe Storms

Severe storms that negatively impact a large population typically require multiple agencies to the site of the event, which can be rather broad. For example, firefighters may respond to the event to put out fires, EMT crews would respond to treat the injured and transport them to hospitals, and police may respond in order to help control the social disarray that the event precipitates.    

Multiple Driver Auto Accidents

Auto accidents that involve one or two drivers can typically be handled by police and EMT crews. However, multiple driver accidents that involve a pile up of wrecks on the roadway can also require the response of firefighters who are trained to use vehicle extrication tools, and the response of hazmat crews, if the accident involves vehicles that carry hazardous substances.

Large Chemical Spills

Large spills of hazardous chemicals always demand the response of hazmat crews, but they can also require the response of firefighters and police to extinguish chemical-based fires and establish a safety perimeter around the area of the event, respectively. The Mastering Unified Command DVD addresses multi-agency responses to chemical events, in addition to others.  

Fires Involving Multiple Structures

Fires that involve multiple structures often require the response of more than one fire department to control the fire quickly, assist with the evacuation process, and help prevent casualties due to fire, smoke or botched evacuation operations. Multiple structure fires also demand the response of EMS crews, and may require police response to help bring order to the resulting social chaos.    

Need Advice on Unified Command?

If you serve as a decision maker for your organization’s participation in multi-agency response efforts, you should have a firm understanding of unified command to ensure that your agency fulfills its duties and helps other agencies fulfill theirs. This is exactly what Mastering Unified Command DVD prepares you to do. If you need advice on participating in multi-agency response events, order your copy of Mastering Unified Command DVD from Firebooks today.
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