Collaboration is key to preparing for public safety missions

Interagency planning, training and exercises are critical components of response actions


By Greg Benson and Mike Fagel, P1 Contributors


Enhancing preparedness, response and recovery for public safety missions in today’s threat environment requires a greater level of collaboration between response agencies.


Non-conforming threats operate in a space that has to be effectively occupied by multiple disciplines at the same time for an effective response. Police, fire and EMS agencies must be able to operate and integrate seamlessly in high threat environments in order to complete organizational missions. Coordination of responding agencies must be completed prior to a response. This requires a conscious effort by leadership to do the following:


  • Establish relationships
  • Train
  • Address options for improvements noted and needs
  • Conduct minimal-risk, high-return exercises with all coordinating and response agencies

Plan ahead


To stop the killing and stop the dying, actions must be taken long before response. Interagency planning, training and exercises are critical components of response actions. As Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower noted, “Plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” His words reinforce the benefits of developing the agility to overcome unknowns in a high threat response. Without effective integration at all levels, the missions of response agencies will be diminished to the detriment of those involved in the incident.


Interagency involvement


Members of the public safety system should be involved in all aspects of planning and response training. This should include partners from public safety answering points and communication centers, hospitals, emergency management agencies, and police, fire and EMS agencies. 


A challenge is the number and configuration of agencies across the country, which can range from full career to all volunteer staffing. State, county and local…

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