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Subject: RE: [emergency] Public as responders (was RE: [emergency]...PPW letter re CAP)

Then the Dispatch/911 system should be involved.  There 
are various approaches to this but they aren't a matter 
of notification of the public, but of the public notifying 
the Dispatch center.  A question of some importance would be 
what kind of notification is the public responder giving 
to the Dispatch operator, eg, a Call For Service?  How 
to classify the notification and queue the response is 
more difficult than working out the technology for getting 
the image from a cell phone into the CFS records.  My guess 
is that a survey of existing 911 Dispatch systems would 
reveal that many could do that.  It would be reasonably 
straightforward, for example, to provide a public access 
version of our web products that would enable the public 
to do that, but as you say, the administrative problems 
would be difficult.  It is more likely that a call to 
the dispatcher would get resources dispatched quicker, 
but that an ability to store and forward on the scene 
digital media files could be created for intel purposes.


From: Art Botterell [mailto:acb@incident.com]

Thanks, John.  In addition to its intel value, that article 
illustrates an important point:

The majority of victim rescues after an earthquake (and in most major 
disasters) are performed by other victims and bystanders, not by 
official responders.  While it's necessary for administrative 
purposes to distinguish between the response community and the larger 
community it serves, major incidents tend to blur that boundary at 
the practical level, especially during the first crucial hours.

So while it's important to improve communications among "first 
responders" (however that term is defined, and it's a controversial 
question) that's still not the whole story.  The public is the 
largest and most influential responder there is, and we need 
constantly to be thinking about how it fits into our systems on those 
days when business isn't as usual.

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