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The effect of training on disaster response: Lessons learned from recent events

Hessam M. Afshari, BS, Paul N. Cervone, MD, LTC, Mark J. Seaton, PhD, Miley A. Taylor, BA, Bruce S. Rudy, DEd


National attention to emergency preparedness has resulted in the development of numerous tabletop and exercise-based training programs for responders. The importance of this type of training with respect to the effectiveness of disaster response, while not in doubt, is difficult to measure. Here, we examined after action reports (AARs) from a variety of disasters in an attempt to determine what, if any, effect training has had on the response to a particular event and on disaster response in general.We also examined AARs and lessons learned from two training exercises. Possibly, the most significant effect of training was the opportunity for people from different response units to interact as a team. Exposure to the Incident Command System was vital to the smooth deployment of assets.



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