For some truly unfortunate reason there seems to have been a number of chaotic events in my state over the last few months. Wildfires, two Police LODDs and most recently the devastating mass murder and assault in an Aurora movie theater that left over 70 injured and 12 dead at the time of writing this.
Regarding the Aurora shooting specifically my neighbor asked me yesterday, “How can you even prepare for something like that?” I provided a stock answer of MCI drills, multi-agency coordination and inter-operable radios. As this drabble of information was leaving my mouth I began to really wonder how have we realistically prepared for arriving to the chaos of hundreds of people in panic of sheer terror; over 50 wounded by gun shots and shrapnel and a dozen dead. I thought that thankfully fire and EMS are at least trained in rapid triage of patients but the initial responding police officers who began loading victims into patrol cars are probably not.
It wasn’t too long ago a friend of mine shared The Missing Piece of NIMS: Teaching Incident Commanders How to Func... by Cynthia Renaud. Mrs. Renaud is a police chief however her views and description of shortcomings in the NIMS system and delivery could be drawn directly from the kitchen table of my firehouse
The point of this post is to simply direct you to the document written by Chief Renaud and consider proper preparation to face chaos. I appreciate what NIMS has done by providing many with the infrastructure necessary to manage large incidents; common terminology, format and procedure. I also believe that we have failed in application because NIMS training has taught the masses to manage and very few how to respond. In the real world, the masses respond and a few manage.
Please click the link below for the full PDF from The Journal of the Naval Postgraduate School
Center for Homeland Defense and Security