BOX 5-3Suggestions to Improve Coordination and Integration Across Response Platforms


  • Face-to-face meetings to establish personal connections
  • Regular conversations/meeting
  • Partnerships, MOUs
  • Regional exercises involving all stakeholders
  • States should play a supportive role
    • Provide education, facilitate planning, establish communications
    • Mobilize and deploy resources and coordinate outside help


  • Expand recruitment into demographics with the required skill sets that may not have been previously considered (e.g., doctors and nurses may volunteer during their off hours).
  • Identify resources in the community (people, equipment, vehicles, communications systems).
  • Survey people for certifications/education/experience they may have beyond their primary jobs.
  • Assign staff whose jobs are nonessential in a disaster to other supportive roles.
  • Explore integrating trauma surgeons into the larger system (e.g., a pre-registered, pre-credentialed, rapidly mobilized force of surgeons bringing surgery to the scene).
  • Seek federal, state, and private grant opportunities to fund equipment purchases and education:
    • Assistance to Firefighters Grants program

      Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant

    • Rural Fire Assistance Program
    • State EMS grants
    • Insurance company grants (Fireman's Fund, Allstate Foundation, etc.)

Planning and Exercises

  • Plan and implement as many drills and exercises as possible.
  • Integrate the public in preparedness exercises that are interesting and fun.
  • Include special needs populations in planning and exercises.
  • A leadership succession plan should be part of incident management planning.
  • Explore and establish backup communications strategies ahead of time.


  • Community education prior to an event can save lives
  • Include interested high school students

From: 5, Coordination and Integration Across Response Platforms

Cover of Preparedness and Response to a Rural Mass Casualty Incident
Preparedness and Response to a Rural Mass Casualty Incident: Workshop Summary.
Institute of Medicine (US) Forum on Medical and Public Health Preparedness for Catastrophic Events.
Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2011.
Copyright © 2011, National Academy of Sciences.

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