Data Gathering for Emergency Response
BY WILLIAM F. MacKAY
© 2010 FrontLine Security (Vol 5, No 1)

A disciplined approach to emergency response (DA) is a data gathering and decision making process to aid responders in handling hazardous materials emergencies in a logical and methodical manner. For over 30 years this method, which is summarized on a Disciplined Approach to Emergency Response chart, has been used by industry response teams and public sector first responders to effectively respond to incidents involving dangerous goods. The process helps trained responders work together to conduct a situation analysis, develop prioritized objectives, select appropriate response strategies and tactics and manage the response through to completion.

The DA process, developed by Imperial Oil, was shared with oil and chemical industry associations and the Exxon Mobil organization, resulting in it being used widely throughout North America and in Europe and Africa. For some years Imperial Oil provided coordination for updating the process and printing DA charts. With restructuring, however, there has been a coordinating gap. However, DA has continued to be used and updated independently by various users.

Putting the Disciplined Approach to Emergency Response on the web will help fill the coordination gap, provide a means for users to share lessons learned, and provide training opportunities. The website provides background information on the development of DA, downloadable training material, identifies training opportunities but more importantly provides for ongoing communication among DA users. A DA2ER blog, Google group and DA2ER Twitter account have all been created to facilitate communication and raise awareness about DA.

Planning ahead to more effectively use technology to support DA, the website highlights the use of Google Wave, (still in beta testing), for improved communication and collaboration during a response and two long time DA users are collaborating to develop on line training. Ernie Wong (EW Compliance and Response) and Bill MacKay (MacKay Emergency Management Consulting Inc.), both former Imperial Oil employees with extensive emergency response and training experience using DA, are collaborating to develop the on-line training.

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© FrontLine Security 2010

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