Maintenance Strategy for an Emergency Lighting System

One could be forgiven for thinking that compiling a maintenance strategy for an emergency lighting system would be a trivial matter to execute.
This may possibly be the case with a small office building but our challenge at Novartis was not a task that could be underestimated.
The first thing to consider is the scale of the site at approximately 150 acres and that emergency lighting by its nature permeates every nook and cranny. The second is the huge emphasis placed on safety which is understandable when Seveso directives are factored in.
Adding to this was the fact that until VEIS arrived on site there was no existing strategy for the maintenance of the emergency lighting system. Once the remit passed to VEIS, literally overnight, we inherited the mammoth task of restoring the system to full operation and ensuring regulatory compliance in terms of inspection and testing.
This all was being played out under the watchful gaze of existing site staff that may not have been openly welcome to the notion of an IFM company’s arrival on site.
There was minimum time for VEIS staff to ease into their roles in this challenging environment. Needless to say the first six months on site were a baptism of fire (but thankfully not in the literal sense!).
Besides immediately assuming inspection and testing duties, the initial stages involved gathering data on both the quantities of light fittings present and the extent of repair work required. The next stage required meeting with suppliers to arrange for parts supply. Full restoration of the system would then take place in tandem with ongoing inspection and testing.
Regarding inspection and testing, there was little leeway for VEIS to create a customised approach as the regulations in I.S. 3217 2013 are quite prescriptive. We simply had to figure out the most effective and efficient way to deliver the required performance of such a safety critical system.
I believe the expertise required from VEIS was not to reinvent a method of maintaining an emergency lighting system. Instead it was to implement a strategy, where none existed before, that worked both in terms of compliance to regulations and ensuring maximum availability of a safety critical system. On this front, we certainly delivered.
Novartis Ringaskiddy Limited is an API manufacturing plant located in Co. Cork Ireland.
It is part of the Novartis global healthcare company which is based in Switzerland.
In January 2014, VEIS assumed responsibility for the provision of an Integrated Facilities Management contract of 5 years duration. This encompassed the following equipment/services:

Utilities – steam boilers, air compressors, air dryers, cooling towers, water treatment, purified water systems.
Hard Services – fire alarm, gas detection system, CCTV, roller shutter doors, clean room sliding doors, dock lifts, passenger and freight elevators, emergency lighting.
Soft Services – catering, cleaning, security, landscaping, pest control, internal plants.

This was the first venture into the outsourcing of Facilities Management services by Novartis so there was a steep learning curve for all concerned.
My role with VEIS was Technical Team Lead with primary responsibility over Utilities and Hard Services.
Our most immediate Task was to implement a Maintenance Strategy for site wide Emergency Lighting. This had fallen into neglect over the years; mainly due to a lack of a dedicated team to oversee its maintenance – there had almost been an ad hoc approach to testing and repair.
Besides my role as Team Lead, the VEIS maintenance crew consisted of 2 Facilities Technicians, both with strong past electrical experience.
It was decided that upkeep of the Emergency Lighting system would be fully self-delivered with no outside contractor involvement.

Figure 1: Novartis Ringaskiddy Limited (Source: PM Group)
Figure 1 is an aerial view of the Novartis Ringaskiddy Limited site (PM Group).
Table 2

A

Main Switch Room

B

Pump House

C

Tank Farm

D

Solvent Recovery

E

LVI

F

Contractor’s Compound (not in IFM contract scope)

G

Project Stores (not in IFM contract scope)

H

PB 2

I

PB 1

J

PB 1A

K

Waste Water

L

Utilities

M

Technical Services

N

QA Labs

O

Warehouse

P

Canteen/HR/Administration

Q

NIPBI Labs

R

Security Gate House

Table 2 defines alphabetically labelled points in Figure 1.
Novartis Ringaskiddy Limited is subject to Seveso directives. These directives are put in place to help prevent major industrial accidents and ensure that sites are prepared, in terms of response, for when accidents occur (European Commission, 2016).
Sites are categorised according to the amount of hazardous chemicals in storage (Lawlor Technology, 2015). NRL is an upper tier Seveso site – there are up to 4000m3 of solvent chemicals stored on site.
There are also several Zone 1 and 2 ATEX areas. The HSA (n.d.) defines these as:
“Zone 1 – That part of a hazardous area in which a flammable atmosphere is likely to occur in normal operation.”
“Zone 2 – That part of a hazardous area in which a flammable atmosphere is not likely to occur in normal operation and, if it occurs, will exist for a short period.”
Another example of a hazardous area is the Dryer Unloading area in PB1. During certain production campaigns, there is the presence of Category 3 chemicals here. Access to the area is strictly prohibited during these times. Contact with minute amounts of Category 3 chemicals can have severe health consequences for a person (Ader et al, 2005).
Because of the highly dangerous operating context of the emergency lighting system, safe work practices were essential for the VEIS team on the Novartis site.
We were required to develop a method statement for emergency lighting maintenance activities. This was reviewed by the HSE department and a site electrical engineer. Edits were performed where necessary prior to final approval.
The use or carrying of cellular phones was prohibited at all times at NRL.
It’s worth noting for this exercise the challenging IR environment that VEIS entered at the beginning of the IFM contract. It was seen by many on site that moving to an outsourced service provider would result in lay-offs for NRL maintenance staff.
In reality VEIS were tasked at delivering in areas that were either previously neglected or lacked central control.
Until this realisation had sunk in, maximum discretion and diplomacy was required from the VEIS team in order to gain acceptance from the existing site staff.
During the initial stages of the VEIS team’s arrival onsite, there was an unwavering focus on all aspects of our conduct. It was of prime importance that the team displayed the upmost professionalism and adherence to safe working practices at all times.
It was essential that, for our maintenance strategy to work, full cooperation was received from existing site staff. This involved gaining trust from both management and ‘floor’ staff.
The Novartis Ringaskiddy site, under the surface, functions as a group of almost autonomous areas. The production buildings, utilities, warehouse, tank farm & waste water areas all have designated management teams who all have in turn subtle but distinct differences in methods of operation.
As emergency lighting is a utility that features across the site, the VEIS team had to find a way to adapt to the varying cultural practices in order to make our strategy work.
Engaging in a respectful and sometimes almost deferential manner was the order of the day. Here are some of the bridges that had to be crossed:
Method Statement development

The method statement for emergency lighting maintenance activities required review and approval from both the HSE process safety manager and PB1 electrical engineer.
The peculiar aspect to this is that neither of the other two site electrical engineers opted to review or approve the method statement despite being presented with it.
See Appendix A for cover page of Method Statement.

Planning Meetings

Again there was a variance here in that VEIS attended weekly maintenance planning meetings in the PB2 production building only.
This was to ensure that production and maintenance coordinators were aware of upcoming works. This obviously extended beyond emergency lighting to all VEIS related maintenance.
It also helped ensure that the work permitters for the building had advanced notice as resources were tight in this area.
For other areas on site, email notification was sufficient to alert NRL staff of pending activities.

Client Meetings

As part of our customer engagement strategy, we arranged separate monthly meetings with key staff from the PB1, PB2 and Technical Services areas.
This provided a forum for all parties to express opinions on any issues or indeed the good news stories.

KPI Score Card
Client interaction was critical here. See section 13.0 for specific detail.
ATEX areas
It was vital for VEIS to gain the confidence of the client in our ability to work safely and competently in the ATEX areas. As an embedded contractor, we were subject to more intense scrutiny than any sub-contractor that provided services to the client. An example would be the purchase of a Fluke Ex multi-meter that we made. This came at a cost of €1000. All other electrical maintenance staff used the non-Ex €300 version.
Asset Register
Individual emergency light fittings were not listed on the NRL asset register. The lowest level the register went to was the Central Test Units. The Novartis engineers were keen to have a full schedule of emergency light fittings included in the asset register so it made sense for VEIS to assist them. Aiding the NRL engineers with this task was not in the scope of the IFM contract but providing this service did much to solidify the relationship and further build trust. This was practically a mini project and involved the following activities:

Compiling the full list of fittings.
Listing the fittings accurately by type and by area.
‘Redlining’ the lighting plans to reflect moved, removed or newly installed fittings.
Confirming the correct CTUs, Distribution Boards and MCBs.
Liaising with the site electrical engineers to agree on a naming/tagging convention.
Supplying redlined lighting plans to site drawing office for printing and uploading to the Novartis COMOS system.

Site Manual (Play Book)
A site manual or ‘play book’ was developed which outlined the scope of the VEIS IFM contract. This was a live document which evolved as the contract progressed and reflected any new services that were added to the remit of VEIS. The site manual was subject to periodic review by the Novartis IFM lead. High level maintenance strategies were also stored in in this book.
In order to comply with rigorous onsite HSE policies, VEIS technical staff required training/certification with the following:

ATEX Awareness.
Emergency Lighting Commissioning & Inspection.
Confined Space Entry.
Mobile Access Tower assembly.
Current Good Manufacturing Practice.
Fire Watch.
Lock-out/Tag-out/Isolation.
Mobile Elevated Work Platform operation.
Permitting – hot and cold works.
SAP CMMS

User level for FTs.
Maintenance Planner level for Technical Team Lead.

Working at Heights.
Manual Handling.
Safety Harness.

As previously mentioned, the Emergency Lighting system had fallen into a state of disrepair on the Ringaskiddy site. With the arrival of VEIS onsite as the IFM provider, a new impetus was put on restoring the system to full operating order and maintaining it to a proper and compliant standard.
In addition, it was quickly noticed by the VEIS team that list of emergency light fittings in the contract tender was not correct. There had been several additions and modifications to the system without proper records to reflect the changes.
After a thorough appraisal, it was found that more than €100,000 would be required in parts purchasing to carry out the necessary repairs. This would have to be actioned by VEIS as it was within scope of the contract.
Appendix B lists the costs of parts required to achieve a fully functioning emergency lighting system.
All of the emergency light fittings on the NRL site are of the Self-Contained Emergency Luminaire variant.
This type is defined as having all components such as the lamp, control unit and battery either inside or not more than one metre from the fitting (Ventilux, n.d.).
8.1 Various Types Used
Figures 2 and 3 show both the most commonly used and most expensive to replace fittings used at NRL.
There are other types also such as ‘Exit/Running Man’ and ‘Twin Spot’. Although these are equally critical from a safety perspective, they came at a fraction of the cost to replace.
It was decided because of the preferential pricing available for purchasing complete Stahl fittings that these would be used to replace defective CEAG units that were economically unrepairable.
CEAG fittings were kept in service only when the repairs didn’t extend beyond tube and battery replacement.

Figure 2: Stahl Ex Emergency Light Fitting (Source: Stahl)
Figure 2 shows the types of Stahl light fittings used on the Novartis site (Stahl).
Figure 3: CEAG Ex Emergency Light Fitting (Source: Atex)
Figure 3 shows the type of CEAG light fitting used on the Novartis site (Atex).
8.2 Quantities of Fittings by Area & Zone
Table 3

Fitting Type

Ex Zone 1

Ex Zone 2

Safe Area

Main Switch Room

6

Pump House

15

Tank Farm

28

57

28

Solvent Recovery

33

69

LVI

16

35

PB 2

563

130

PB 1

530

145

PB 1A

285

78

Waste Water

58

31

Utilities

55

Technical Services

95

QA Labs

88

Warehouse

93

Canteen/HR/Administration

125

NIPBI Labs

168

Security Gate House

7

Sub Totals

1455

219

1064

Grand Total

2738

Table 3 list the corrected amounts of light fittings by zone and by area.
The more correct way to classify equipment suitable for use in Ex Zone 1 and Zone 2 areas is by CAT 2 and CAT 3 respectively. However it is normal in Industry to reference them by Ex Zone numbers only.
Safe Area refers to type of light fittings used outside of the hazardous areas.
8.3 Components Failure Information
The one benefit of taking on a dilapidated system, from a maintenance perspective, is that you have the data to hand on the reasons why the assets have failed. Figure 4 displays a breakdown of these failure modes for the emergency light fittings on the Novartis site.
This information was a key driver in deciding the amounts and types of spare parts to be held on site.

Figure 4: Reasons for Light Fitting Failure
Figure 4 illustrates failure data compiled on the NRL site.
The Inspection and Maintenance activities evolved as the contract progressed on the Novartis site. The initial stages comprised of inspection and data gathering. This advanced to inspection, testing and repairs.
9.1 Structure and Administration of PMs on CMMS
Novartis utilises the SAP CMMS to administrate all of its maintenance activities. VEIS staff were trained onsite in the use of this system. The Facilities Technicians were trained to
User level while the Technical Team Lead was trained to Planner level.
As effective owners of the assets and systems that were in scope for the IFM contract, it was agreed that we would manage maintenance activities end-to-end.
Here is a synopsis of how we ran this aspect of our operation for the emergency lighting system:

PMs were built against the Asset IDs of the CTUs.
The CMMS Created a PM01 Preventive Maintenance Work Order in advance of the Due Date based on the Call Horizon settings.
The VEIS Planner Released the Work Order in advance of the activity being carried out.
One of the FTs printed the resultant Job Card.
The FTs had a predetermined period of time from the Due Date to complete the activity so as not to exceed the Late Date.
PMs that overshot the Late Date required Deviation Reports to be submitted.
Corrective activities were recorded using PM11 Deferred Maintenance or PM12 Immediate Maintenance Work Orders depending on the severity of the issue.
Completed Job Cards and reports, where applicable, were uploaded to the CMMS and attached to the relevant Work Order before changing its status to Complete.

See Appendix C for definitions of the terms used by the SAP CMMS.
See Appendix D for an example of a Novartis Work Order raised on the SAP CMMS.
9.2 Permitting for Works
There was variance across the NRL site in how permits to work were processed. Again it was an example of how at a high level there was standard practice but the reality on the ground was different.
This was another area where VEIS had to adapt to the different procedures and ensure both safety compliance and a timely manner for delivering works. The time concern stems from lengthy delays that could occur if one did not follow the specific permitting guidelines for a particular area.
See Appendix F for a table displaying the differences per area in processing of permits to work on the NRL site.
9.3 Inspection and Testing
Daily Test
The following is the procedure employed for the daily test:

To complete the daily test of the emergency lighting system, one of the Facilities Technicians walks the site and checks the CTUs for presence of any faults.
Permitting is not required for this activity.

Any faults are recorded in the VEIS Emergency Lighting Logbook and repairs are put into the work queue.

Visual Inspection of Emergency Lights
Under the previous I.S. 3217 standard, all emergency light fittings had to be visually inspected weekly. This would have been near impossible for the VEIS team to deliver.
The current standard stipulates that 25% of fittings are to be visually inspected weekly resulting in 100% being checked in a four week period.
The following is the procedure employed for the visual inspection:

When conducting a visual inspection of the emergency lights in an area, the Facilities Technicians will first contact the area supervisor to inform them of the intention to carry out an inspection.
A permit and countersignature will then be requested if it is deemed necessary.
Technicians will use the access card swipe-in system or the sign-in logbook when entering the area if such systems are present.
The Technicians will then walk the area and record their results in the VEIS Emergency Lighting Logbook.
The area will be left in a clean and tidy state.
They will swipe or sign out when leaving the area if such systems are present.
If a permit was received then it will be returned and signed off.
See Appendix E for Risk Assessment table.

Three Monthly Inspection (for a 3 hour self-contained system)
The following is the procedure employed for a 3 monthly inspection:

When conducting the Three Monthly Inspection of the emergency lights in an area, the Facilities Technicians will first contact the area supervisor to inform them of the intention to carry out an inspection.
A permit and countersignature will then be requested.
Signs will be placed at the entrances to the area to advise personnel that an inspection is taking place.
Technicians will use the access swipe-in system or the sign-in logbook when entering the area if such systems are present.
The emergency lighting Central Test Unit will then be activated, or in cases where a circuit is not on a CTU, the MCB will be switched off which will result in the emergency lighting going into fault mode.
The Technicians will then walk the area and record their results in the VEIS Emergency Lighting Logbook.
When complete the CTU will be reset and any MCBs that were switched off will be switched on.
Faults that have been recorded will then be addressed.
A suitable ladder will be used for the repairs.
Where the step ladder is used, FTs should not exceed hip height to the top rung of the ladder.
A safety harness will be worn where required.
A scaffold will be used where required.
Care is to be taken when using hand tools.
A Hot Work Permit will be required to work near live exposed parts such as using a meter to check for power.
If replacing internal parts of the light or where a wiring fault needs to be rectified, then the circuit will be locked out at the lighting supply board with a MCB locking device and a padlock. VEIS staff will refer to Novartis SOP 000.926.0479 – Isolation of electrically driven equipment.
Before disconnecting any cable the FT must always confirm that the internal mains wiring is ‘dead’ using a digital multi-meter.
When work is complete then the area is to be left clean and tidy and all circuits should be powered up.
They will swipe or sign out when leaving the area if such systems are present.
The permit will be returned and signed off.
See Appendix E for Risk Assessment table.
Upon completion of the Three Monthly Inspection and testing, a report for inspection, testing and servicing as detailed in Annex C1 and Annex C7 of I.S. 3217:2013 shall be attached to the relevant SAP Work Order where it can be viewed/printed by the PU Manager and electrical engineer of (PB1,PB2,TS). As per 16.2.4.1 of I.S. 3217:2013. A copy of the report shall be placed in the VEIS Emergency Lighting Logbook.

Annual Load Test (for a 3 hour self-contained system)
The following is the procedure employed for the annual load test:

When conducting the Annual Load Test of the emergency lights in an area, the Facilities Technicians will first contact the area supervisor to inform them of the intention to carry out an inspection.
A permit and countersignature will then be requested.
Signs will be placed at the entrances to the area to advise personnel that an inspection is taking place.
Technicians will use the access swipe-in system or the sign-in logbook when entering the area if such systems are present.
The emergency lighting Central Test Unit will then be activated, or in cases where a circuit is not on the CTU the MCB will be switched off, which will result in the emergency lighting going into fault mode.
The Technicians will then walk the area and record their results in the VEIS Emergency Lighting Logbook.
When complete the CTU will be reset and any MCBs that were switched off will be switched on.
Faults that have been recorded will then be addressed.
A suitable ladder will be used for the repairs.
Where the step ladder is used, Technicians should not exceed hip height to the top rung of the ladder.
A safety harness will be worn where required.
A scaffold will be used where required.
Care is to be taken when using hand tools.
A Hot Work Permit will be required to work near live exposed parts such as using a meter to check for power.
If replacing internal parts of the light or where a wiring fault needs to be rectified, then the circuit will be locked out at the lighting supply board with a MCB locking device and a padlock. VEIS staff will refer to Novartis SOP 000.926.0479 – Isolation of electrically driven equipment.
Before disconnecting any cable the FT must always confirm that the internal mains wiring is ‘dead’ using a digital multi- 

Annotated Bibliography on Emergency Preparedness in Higher Education

Introduction

     Universities and college campuses across the United States are engaged in developing policies and programs to reduce risks and maintain safety on their campuses. Currently the California State University (CSU) system does not have a system wide emergency management program. Developing emergency preparedness curriculum and maintaining a structured emergency management program, are the most important elements for creating a disaster-resilient university system. The focus of this annotated bibliography is on planning, warnings, crisis management, and activities that are designed to minimize the effects of disasters at higher education institutions. This bibliography will review the points of consensus among emergency management professionals in disaster-related activities. The information gathered will provide supportive documentation from various authors that will be utilized to develop a CSU system wide emergency management strategic plan. This strategic plan will be presented to the CSU Chancellors office and executive board for approval and implementation on October 10, 2019.

Annotated Bibliography

 

Ashland University Center (2014).https://www.nifi.org/en/groups/who-should-do-what-

     role-citizens-government-and-nongovernmental-organizations-disaster

 

     These are notes from a community conversation held in Ashland County, Ohio regarding the roles each sector (government, non-government organization, and citizens) need to play before and during an emergency. Through this conversation, the community outlined specific tasks and challenges for each sector. The notes emphasized personal safety and preparedness providing information on what citizens can do for themselves prior and after a crisis. There should be no expectation that the government or nongovernmental organizations will provide all that is needed during a disaster.

Get Help With Your Essay
If you need assistance with writing your essay, our professional essay writing service is here to help!
Essay Writing Service

     The notes stress that each sector has its own role to play but that it is the combined effort that is required during an emergency. This is a useful tool for those working within communities to create a preparedness strategy. It is also an example of what can be created when citizens and government working together. This article supports the need for campuses to have emergency supplies and established relationships with local government.

 

Baxter M., Taylor, K., Meszaros, P., Henscheid, M. (2008). A Time of Crisis. Retrieved

     from http://aboutcampus.myacpa.org/

 

     This entire volume of About Campus addresses issues of crisis. This includes a chapter from Lori Patton on how painful experiences can be used to teach and learn critical life lessons. In addition, there is an article from Terry Wildman about the process of creating the kind of community that can sustain itself through traumatic events, such as the tragedy that occurred at Virginia Tech, long before those events ever occur. Additional information includes creating nurturing cultures, the practical example of Hokies United, and facing mental health crisis on campus.

Blanchard-Boehm, D. (1997). “Understanding Public Response to Increased Risk from

     Natural Hazards: Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/286694793

      This paper applies the risk communication framework and its principles to a case study where probabilities were increased in 1990 of future earthquakes in the San Francisco Bay area.

Following the scientific community’s announcement, a low-key warning was issued to approximately two million residents through large-scale information sharing. This is often called a mass notification system. This study demonstrated that the risk communication model is an invaluable tool for helping us to understand the behavior of individuals who must learn of and act upon warning information that could save their lives and property. Further, the researchers were urged to find ways to adapt this risk communication model to other types of natural and man-made hazards. This research paper supports the importants of all institutions of higher education having a practiced communication plan, and mass notification system.

Block, R. (2005). “Documents Reveal Extent of Fumbles on Storm Relief.” The Wall Street

     Journal. Retrieved from https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB112658472240639074

 

     This Wall Street Journal article details the mishandling of the federal response to Hurricane Katrina. It mentions a variety of bureaucratic and interagency failures that prevented enough rescue materials to arrive at the scene on time.  The many failures ranged from an inoperable  internet server at FEMA to FEMA actually asking the wrong governmental agency for ambulances. The article discusses the long delay in declaring Hurricane Katrina an Incident of National Significance and the underestimation of required resources. There also was a lack of experienced emergency managers in FEMA. This caused major delays in organizing the distribution of the simplest resources, which contributed to the suffering following the hurricane. This article supports the argument that experienced emergency managers are needed on campuses of higher education.

Connolly M. (2016). Campus Emergency Preparedness (Meeting ICS and NIMS

     Compliance) CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group Boca Raton, FL

 

     This book takes a look at the after math effects of Hurricane Katrina on the local college institutions and their students. The author explores the question what could the colleges and universities have done better to retain their students when their buildings became uninhabitable. It questions why these institutions did not have emergency preparedness plans in place. The author conducts a complete investigation to retrieve answers to these questions and provides a sound argument as to why these institutions were not properly prepared. The book also investigates what guidance and resources were available through the United States Department of Education and FEMA. This book supports the need for all institutions of higher education to have a practiced emergency preparedness plan.

Kenney, P. (1997). When a Crisis Occurs: A Trustee’s Perspective. New Directions For

     Community Colleges. Retrieved from Wiley Online library

     https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/cc.9808

 

     This article states that crisis management, crisis communication and crisis planning should be vital elements on any institutions’ strategic planning. Components of a crisis / emergency management plan were described. The article stressed every campus Emergency Operation Center should have a knowledgeable emergency manager and crisis manager. These two individuals should have a strong working relationship with the campus president. The article emphasized this as a major key to developing and implementing a successful emergency management plans.

Lipka, S.(2005). After Katrina, Colleges Nationwide Take a Fresh Look at Disaster Plans.

     Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved from

       https://www.chronicle.com/article/After-Katrina-Colleges/7486

 

     After 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina, many institutions of higher education began reviewing their disaster policies. This article takes a look at how universities used Hurricane Katrina as motivation to improve their emergency preparedness programs. Several universities in the article conducted disaster exercises and tested their emergency response systems to spot weaknesses in their plans. The article also discussed the value of universities involving campus stakeholders in their emergency preparedness programs. Lastly, the article stressed the need for institutions to have a strategic plan. This plan should be tested frequently, ensuring communication can survive any catastrophic event and options for displaced students are available. 

McClellan G. & Stringer J. (2009). Dealing With Campus Crisis. In The Handbook of

     Student Affairs Administration (3nd ed). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

 

     This book gives suggestions in dealing with various crises. Some of these crises may be regarding a student on campus, or others may be a natural disaster. Knowing these inevitable disasters are lurking in the horizon, colleges and universities must be prepared. The book lays out specific responsibilities that must be carried out by executive staff on campuses of higher education. These executive staff members include the president and his or her cabinet, public relations, and even attorneys. The book also shares tools on how to deal with the media. Providing guidelines for the Public Information Officer, on what to say and what not say when dealing with a crisis on campus.

Virginia Tech Review Panel (2007). Retrieved from

     https://scholar.lib.vt.edu/prevail/docs/VTReviewPanelReport.pdf

 

     On April 16, 2017, Seung Cho opened fire on innocent students at the Virginia Tech Campus. The Virgin Tech Review Panel (VTRP) report provides an inside look at the shooting and provides a detailed assessment of the aftermath and recovery stages. The Virginia Tech Review Panel reviewed several separate but related issues in assessing events leading to the mass shootings and their aftermath.

     The panel conducted over 200 interviews and reviewed thousands of pages of records assessing these nine key areas: These areas included the life and mental health history of Seung Hui Cho. The double homicide at West Ambler Johnston (WAJ) residence hall and the mass shootings in Norris Hall. The responses of Virginia Tech leadership and the actions of law enforcement officers and emergency responders. The mass notification system alerts and messages. The Emergency Operation Center response and emergency medical care immediately following the shootings (VTRP 2007). This review was published and risk managers at universities nationwide began reassessing their crisis management and emergency preparedness procedures.

References

Ashland University Center (2014).https://www.nifi.org/en/groups/who-should-do-what-role-citizens-government-and-nongovernmental-organizations-disaster

Baxter M., Taylor, K., Meszaros, P., Henscheid, M. (2008). A Time of Crisis. Retrieved from http://aboutcampus.myacpa.org/

Blanchard-Boehm, D. (1997). “Understanding Public Response to Increased Risk from Natural Hazards: Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/286694793

Block, R. (2005). “Documents Reveal Extent of Fumbles on Storm Relief.” The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB112658472240639074

Connolly M. (2016). Campus Emergency Preparedness (Meeting ICS and NIMS Compliance) CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group Boca Raton, FL

Kenney, P. (1997). When a crisis occurs: A trustee’s perspective. New Directions for Community Colleges. Retrieved from Wiley Online library https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/cc.9808

Lipka, S. (2005). After Katrina, Colleges Nationwide Take a Fresh Look at Disaster Plans. Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved from https://www.chronicle.com/article/After-Katrina-Colleges/7486

McClellan G. & Stringer J. (2009). Dealing with campus crisis. In The handbook of student affairs administration (3nd ed). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Virginia Tech Review Panel (2007). Retrieved from https://scholar.lib.vt.edu/prevail/docs/VTReviewPanelReport.pdf

 

Incident Grading in Emergency Responses

Situations/incidents go into a system where they determine how high risk/serious the incident is and it is done into 4 grades.
P3: The first grade is the emergency response, and this is the most high risk response and is followed through when someone is in a critical emergency such as a violence that is about to happen and also if there is big damage to property.
If someone is at a serious threat to get injured or a danger to their life this is also a very good reason for it to be an emergency. An officer regardless of their rank will be required to attend to the incident also specialist staff will be required depending on the emergency.
An example of an emergency situation would be a person trapped in a house fire requiring the fire service to extinguish the fire and pull the person out of the house. This situation would more likely involve an injury or death to a person/people and also cause a massive disruption in the area therefore being an emergency. This incident would be small scale because it is a house fire.

Get Help With Your Essay
If you need assistance with writing your essay, our professional essay writing service is here to help!
Essay Writing Service

Another example would be if a criminal is posing a terrorist threat such as shooting at crowds of people or seen setting up bombs. This would be classed as a large scale incident and would require an emergency response that will have emergency services be there in under 20 minutes and police will have the right to ignore road speeds and laws and traffic lights to get to the emergency in time. Mainly the police will get involved to arrest any suspects or to neutralize anyone that is a threat to people.
The second grade would be priority response, this is still an emergency but not as severe as grade one, but still there is a high level of importance to the incident. There is a lot of variables to how important the incident and some reasons would be:

Someone is in emotional state and extremely upset and can potentially make them in a vulnerable condition.
Another reason would be if a criminal/offender has already been arrested.
Also would come if there is a concern for the persons health/wellbeing
If there is a risk of losing witnesses or evidence
If a serious but non-fatal injury has occurred or possibly a traffic collision that will involve these services
Hate crimes are also a top priority on the list since it is against the law and breaches the Racial & Religious act 2006 or Crime & Disorder act 1998.

It is required by law for emergency services to respond to a priority incident within 2 hours if it is a grade 2 incident.
The third grade would be a scheduled response, this is when a caller or a person has scheduled/ pre-arranged to meet the caller within 48 hours. The attendance of the emergency incident can be met through surgeries, hospitals, stations or any other premises.
The fourth grade would be Resolution without deployment, the caller is able to seek advice and resolve an incident through letters, phone calls, questions through the phone and also the service recommending a service more appropriate to the incident.
Also in grade 4, deployment of any emergency services are not required but the situation would be analysed and possibly recorded. Incidents on grade would most likely be handed over to agencies such as safer community team, child protection agency, intelligence units and also the traffic control team.
Overall, when an incident is rang over the telephone, the operator has to then make a decision on how serious the incident is. The operator will choose from the 4 grades I have just mentioned.
Fire service categories:
Category A:
There are stronger chances of fire spread in built up areas in larger cities. Especially cities containing commercial and industrial premises and high rising properties. First step of the procedure in category A is for three pumps to attend the scene, two within the first 5 minutes and one within eight minutes. This procedure needs to be followed correctly 75% of the time.
Category B:
The recommended first attendance is for two pumps to attend the scene. One to arrive within 5 minutes and the other within 8 minutes. This procedure is followed for areas in towns and cities with smaller industrial areas and the estates. Same as category A this needs to be achieved on at least 75% of occasions.
Category C:
This procedure has been put in place for areas of residential dwellings, flats and terraced properties. He recommended attendance is for one pump to be sent within 8 – 10 minutes. This needs to be achieved on at least 75% of occasions.
Category D:
This procedure has been put in place for villages and farms. The recommended first attendance is one pump to be sent within 20 minutes. This needs to be achieved on at least 75% of occasions.
P4: The call handling personnel in a small scale incident such as a house fire will be on the front lines. This means they will be talking to the victim/caller directly, and it is there job to calm the person on the call if in distress along will despatching the appropriate emergency service to the situation.
If the operator is a 999 operator then they will be required to ask the caller’s name, the location they are calling from, about what happened and most important of all, if anyone is injured or at risk.
Also the incident could be followed up through calling a police station which is non-emergency, which then an officer would answer the call and answer any questions an give any relevant information of the incident to the caller.
Call operators for a large scale incident would ask for their ask location so police can be easily notified about the location, for example, in a large scale terrorist attack the operator would tell the caller to keep calm and use any means necessary to defend themselves from the attacker and this includes self-defence. Also the operator would give advice and also give instructions on how to apply first aid until emergency services arrive.
M2: Both police and the fire service use terminology to communicate with each other, and the terminology is used to recognize a certain type of person. For example, ACP would be used to identify an Assistance Commissioner Professionalism for police and a WRC for the fire service would be used to identify a water carrier.
Another similarity is that they both use the grading system based on the level of importance, for example, Grade A and emergency response both respond to emergencies within 20 minutes but on the other hand the difference is that the fire service are required to attend the scene within 8 minutes and police would be 20.
Police and the fire service have a common goal and that would be to protect civilians along with providing emergency first aid if needed. Also in  an event of an emergency both services will be required to drive at excessive speeds to attend to the incident and both services will have to of passed the Advanced Driving test to prove they can control the vehicle at high speeds with other distractions around them. If the driver does not get to the incident fast enough it could result in a casualty.
All three emergency services must not go past the speed limit by an excessive amount, for example, on 30 mile-per-hour road the driver must not go past 45MPH. The advanced driving test will come in handy when there is a high chance of injuring a vulnerable person with your vehicle while driving at excessive speeds.
The Police, Ambulance and Fire service all work together at major incidents and all services have a chain of command. Here are the list of commands
Gold command – this is the highest form of command at an incident, gold command sets the strategy or the plan to resolve the incident.
Silver command – this is the secondary form of command, silver implements or passes on Gold’s strategy for the incident.
Bronze command – this is the final command style which refers to everyone else who is called out to the incident and puts Gold’s strategy into action.
The common goal of all commands is to save and protect lives of those involved and prevent the incident getting worse, along with defending the environment and make the situation normal quickly but efficiently and without casuing any further harm to anyone or the enviroment, when the process has been resolved, there will be a debriefing process after.

Emergency Communication Alert for Social Media: Boston Marathon Bombings

Abstract

Social media alerts have been increasing in popularity during disaster situations. On Monday April 15, 2019 at 2:49pm two bombs detonated near the finish line of the Boston Marathon (Project Management Team, 2014). Three people were killed and 264 were injured in the terrorist attack (Haddow & Haddow, 2014). Over the next four days following the Boston Marathon Bombings law enforcement investigated and searched for the suspects. When the suspects were in a Watertown neighborhood there were public safety issues due the dangerous suspects and increased police presence so a shelter in place order was issued. If Twitter was used for the alert, then the alert would be limited by 160 characters and may have only said, #MediaAlert: WARNING: Shelter in place. Bombing suspect still at large. Stay indoors! #BostonStrong. If Facebook was used for a social media alert during the manhunt for the Tsarnaev brothers, then it could provide a more comprehensive, transparent and accurate warning.

Keywords:  Boston Marathon bombings, EAS, social media, IPAWS, emergency communications

Emergency Communication Alert for Social Media: Boston Marathon Bombings 

If IPAWS and Haddow’s nine principles of successful emergency communication were used when issuing the Facebook warning, then it may have looked like the following emergency communication alert:

Shelter in Place Warning 19 APR 13

We understand that this week has been stressful and emotional for all residents in the Boston area and beyond due to the marathon bombing on Monday. At 1 am today, Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in Watertown by police officers, but his brother Dzhokhar remains at large. Effective immediately, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency has issued a shelter in place warning for residents in Allston, Brighton, Cambridge, Newton, Waltham, Watertown and Belmont due to increased police activity related to the manhunt for Boston Marathon Bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (Project Management Team, 2014). Dzhokhar is armed and dangerous. Please remain indoors and do not venture outside. Close and lock all doors and windows. Seek refuge in an interior room without many windows. Do not compromise police operations by posting photos and videos to social media. Do not “broadcast tactical positions of homes being searched” (Haddow & Haddow, 2014). If you see something or someone suspicious, then say something by calling the Boston Police Tip line at 617-555-1212. Emergency services are still available by calling 911. We need everyone to cooperate with the shelter in place warning to ensure resident safety and help capture the bombing suspect. This warning will be lifted once Dzhokhar is placed into custody and the streets are safe. Remain strong, this will be over soon. Stay tuned to local media for additional official updates. #BostonStrong

References

FEMA. (n.d.). Integrated Public Alert and Warning System Template: Emergency Communication Plans and IPAWS. Retrieved from Federal Emergency Management Agency: https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1409762245649-42bb64d7495d561cf3892b98c68186ea/TEMPLATE_Emergency%20Communications%20Plans%20and%20IPAWS_508.pdf

Haddow, G., & Haddow, K. (2014). Disaster Communications in a Changing Media World (2nd ed.). Waltham, MA: Elsevier.

Project Management Team. (2014, Dec). After Action Report for the Response to the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombings. Retrieved from National Police Foundation: https://www.policefoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/after-action-report-for-the-response-to-the-2013-boston-marathon-bombings_0.pdf

IPAWS EAS Message Template

Figure 1. This is a screenshot of the IPAWS template used for creating the emergency social media alert for the Boston Marathon bombings (FEMA).

EAS Message

Emergency Alert Message

Event Code:

SIP

County Code(s):

25025

Sent time:

19 APR 2013 05:00

Expires time:

TBD

Sender name:

Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA)

Description:

Immediate shelter in place warning issued for the following cities in Suffolk County: Boston (Allston/Brighton), Cambridge, Newton, Waltham, Watertown and Belmont.

Instruction:

Shelter in place. Please remain inside and do not venture out. Close and lock all doors and windows. Do not compromise police operations by posting photos and videos to social media. Do not broadcast tactical positions of homes being searched. If you see something or someone suspicious, say something by calling the Boston Police Tip line at 617-555-1212.

EAS Message:

We understand that this week has been stressful and emotional for all residents in the Boston area and beyond due to the marathon bombing on Monday. At 1 am today, Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in Watertown by police officers, but his brother Dzhokhar remains at large. Effective immediately, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency has issued a shelter in place warning for residents in Allston, Brighton, Cambridge, Newton, Waltham, Watertown and Belmont due to increased police activity related to the manhunt for Boston Marathon Bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Dzhokhar is armed and dangerous. Please remain indoors and do not venture outside. Close and lock all doors and windows. Seek refuge in an interior room without many windows. Do not compromise police operations by posting photos and videos to social media. Do not broadcast tactical positions of homes being searched. If you see something or someone suspicious, then say something by calling the Boston Police Tip line at 617-555-1212. Emergency services are still available by calling 911. We need everyone to cooperate with the shelter in place warning to ensure resident safety and help capture the bombing suspect. This warning will be lifted once Dzhokhar is placed into custody and the streets are safe. Remain strong, this will be over soon. Stay tuned to local media for additional official updates. #BostonStrong

Figure 2. This is how the emergency alert might look when formatted by the IPAWS template.
 

Emergency Response to Terrorism

Decontamination
On a wide scope of meaning, the word decontamination refers to the idea of making a place safe once it has been made unsafe in which ever manner. It involves getting rid of any dangerous objects like bombs or even people that make places unsafe. Cases of decontamination have been very severe as time has gone by mostly encouraged by the fact that there is high rate of technological development.
High School
In society, schools are one of the institutions that carry the highest number of people. They will have so many people or students who have gone to acquire knowledge and this is almost on a daily basis. Some of the reasons why a school could be attacked include;
Many people will die or be affected during the attack due to the high population which is a characteristic of most schools. A terrorist always finds ways of affecting the highest population that he possibly can.
The number of deaths that will be experienced in a school is quite high because the school has young children who may not know how to help themselves or how to offer proper first aid to their injured friends due to panic. This means that the number of deaths will be so high.
The school has students from almost all walks of life or even at times from different countries and races. Attacking the school will mean that the different families where the children come from will be affected. A large portion of the country and state will be affected in the process.
Initial considerations

To make a school safe again there are so many things that I will have to look at;
The nearness of the school to the city
The population of the school is important so that one can prepare and approximate the number of first aid material that will be needed.

The Decontamination
Once we get to the school;
Take all the casualties to the hospital without wasting any time so that we can save as many life’s as possible. This is the very first step to making the school safe by ensuring that the lives of those who have been affected are secured.
Once that is done the facility should be cleared so that all people are kept as far away as possible from the school to avoid any more damages.
Specialists in the area of bombing are then called in to survey the whole school and check if there are any more bombs. Any that is still on should be disarmed in the most careful way.
The school should be then closed till it’s proved to be safe for any further learning.
 Explain why your chosen initial decontamination considerations are important to this particular attack, and explain how, as a first responder, you will meet these challenges.
The unfortunate aspect of the school in this case is that it is quite near to one of the big cities in the state and this poses a risk to the city. The people in the city will panic due to fear that they are next. The best way to deal with this is to use the media to inform them of what exactly happened and to ask them not to panic but to be cautious.
The school is one of a high population of students and that goes without saying that I will need a lot of people in the rescue team for efficiency. Such a school may have a lot of casualties as the many students fought for safety out of their classes or the bomb may have affected many (Houghton,2016).
Football stadium
This is a good target for an attack because so many people love football and so he will get the attention he needs from the public.
Since different people of different ages and ways of life go to watch football, no one will be able to tell who was responsible for the attack. A person can easily sneak the bomb in and out of the stadium.
Initial considerations
The architecture of the stadium- Some of the stadiums are quite complex in the way that they were built and this may make it even more difficult to decontaminate. It will require the help of architects especially when it comes to the issue of assessing the place for any bombs that may be hidden.
The decontamination
Approach scene with caution -While going to the arena, it is important to be careful as you go to the rescue because you can find that there are other bombs in the stadium that are still yet to go off and cause more death.
Assess the place and find out where the bombs are located and disarm those that are still on to avoid further damage.
Identify signs and indicators of CBRN incidents;-Take time to acquire patterns of things that were done deliberately to cause the bombing. This means establishing how the security was bridged all that was done for the bomb to go off
It is important to know how many people lost their lives and to also identify who they were. People will come looking for their family members who might have lost their lives and so establishing the identity is important. For accountability purposes, the citizens will also expect to have a comprehensive report on the number of causalities in the bombing.
Establish all the resources that will be needed for the cleaning up of any hazardous material left in the stadium. This will rely on the extent to which the bombing affected the place and the size of the stadium.
The facility needs to be closed off from any further use till it is completely made safe for use. This will involve clearing of any chemicals or hazardous gases that may have been released. It can only be opened once professionals in this filed certify it as safe for use.
Conclusion
There are different forms of contamination in the world where bombing is one of them. This has been the cause of mass loss of life in the human history. These needs to be approached with care because any mistake made could make things worse. All the above listed steps or more should be followed with great caution so as to make places safe for use again. One fact remains; attacks will always be on places of large population (Simpson, 2014).
References
Houghton, B. (2016). The Changing Nature and Tactics of Terrorism. Oklahoma Politics, 25, 1-16.
Fuse, A., Okumura, T., Hagiwara, J., Tanabe, T., Fukuda, R., Masuno, T., … & Yokota, H. (2013). New information technology tools for a medical command system for mass decontamination. Prehospital and disaster medicine, 28(03), 298-300.
Simpson, E. (2014). The poor man’s nuclear bomb.

Emergency Response to Terrorism

Past Acts of Terrorism
On September 11, 2001, America experienced an attack. Early in the morning at around 8:45 am a flight carrying 20, 000 gallons of jet fuel made its way to the northern side of the world trade centre tower hitting the 80th floor. This lead to the death of hundred plus individuals plus other were trapped on the higher floors of the world trade centre located in New York. Some few minutes later the same world trade centre building was hit with another plane which hit the 60th floor, and this led to a massive explosion that alarmed the whole state that indeed America was under attack. Immediately during the attack, the media managed to make a live broadcast of the attack so as to inform the public of the occurrence.

Get Help With Your Essay
If you need assistance with writing your essay, our professional essay writing service is here to help!
Essay Writing Service

The planners of the attack of the September 11 did it perfectly such that they ensured that there was no leak of the attack to the public. The attacker did not make use of any electronic form of communication, and thus this radio silence helped them execute their plan effectively. During the attack, the federal government experienced various communication breakdown, and this affected how the disaster was handled. An official from the 9/1 1gave a statement and said that the federal government experienced various communication breakdowns during the attack (Asaeda, 2005).
The report that was given showed that the systems of communication that were put in place had failed. During the attack, those who were operating the planes tried to reach the Federal Aviation Administration via teleconferencing, but this proved difficult. The FAA did not join the conference for almost 15 minutes and even after they had joined they did not take an immediate move. The FAA personals involved in the conferencing did not have the authority to deal with the situation as the senior officials were absent. This delay in the relaying of information between the operators and the FAA contributed a lot to the attack being successful. If the official responded in advance, then an immediate solution would have been adopted to deal with the situation.
Immediately the attack took place it only took a few minutes, and the firefighters were on the ground. The attack led to several individuals being hurt and may others losing their lives. The hospitals in New Jersey, New York and the neighbouring areas prepared themselves for the attack. The hospital beds were secured, and the elective surgeries that were taking place were put to a halt to make room for the victims of the attack. St Vincent who was the closest trauma centre approximately 1.6 km from the world trade centre was filled with victims of the occurrence. New York Cornell Hospital dealt with the burn patients as it is the only burn centre in Manhattan. The nurses and the doctors were not allowed to leave the hospitals because of the large number of patients that were being rushed to the hospitals (Kendra & Wachtendorf, 2003). The rescue teams including the firefighters and the policemen were in place to ensure that the situation was under control. In total the rescue team managed to save the lives of twenty individuals who had been trapped in the building.
The first responders encountered several challenges when the WTC attack took place. After the bombing of the world trade centre in 1993 radio repeaters were installed in the tower to ease communication but the firefighters were not aware that the repeaters were functioning. During the attack, there was little communication between the police department and the fire department and thus when the police were notified to evacuate the building after realising that the tower was at a risk of collapsing the firefighters were not informed. The firefighters lacked information about the collapse of the building because they were not watching the news broadcast and also because the communication centre for the police which could have used to inform them had been evacuated due to the threat that the building will collapse. The supplies for various equipment needed for rescue delayed and this thus crippled the rescue situation.
The government agencies responded pretty well to the disaster. The various rescue teams and firefighting teams were in place, and they showed their bravery in the scene. They managed to save a lot of lives, and those who were injured were immediately rushed to the hospital. The hospital having been alarmed by the situation had already prepared for the disaster and had their doctors in place to take care of the situation at hand. The rescue teams experienced problems with communication, and thus the crowding of the communication network made it hard for the hospital to determine the patients are coming from the world trade centre attack (Simon & Teperman, 2001). Despite the communication breakdown the hospitals still managed to take care of the patients and create more beds for the world trade centre victims. In future, the government should, therefore, ensure that they have communication backup in case of such an occurrence in future.

Find Out How UKEssays.com Can Help You!
Our academic experts are ready and waiting to assist with any writing project you may have. From simple essay plans, through to full dissertations, you can guarantee we have a service perfectly matched to your needs.
View our services

The world trade centre sent an awakening call to the government of the United States concerning their preparation for such disasters. The fact that the tower has been a site of interest for many terrorists because of the many people it accommodates and its location as well. The government should, therefore, put in place security measures that will help curb such situations in future. The awakening call has also helped the government to improve the disaster management technique that was in place before.
References
Asaeda, G. (2005, September). World Trade Centre Attack. In International Congress on Disaster Medicine and Emergency Management. Yale, New Haven.
Kendra, J. M., & Wachtendorf, T. (2003). Elements of resilience after the world trade centre disaster: reconstituting New York City’s Emergency Operations Centre. Disasters, 27(1), 37-53.
Simon, R., & Teperman, S. (2001). The World Trade Center attack: lessons for disaster management. Critical Care, 5(6), 318.

Emergency Response to American Airlines Flight 587 Crash

Abstract
Although the probability of an aircraft accident is the minimum, its effects can be catastrophic. The crash of flight 587 in 2001 was a tragic incident that left all the passengers and crewmembers dead. Flight 587 had just left the John F. Kennedy Airport when some of its parts burst into flames about three minutes later while in midair. The accident also claimed the lives of five individuals on the ground. The incidence burnt about 12 homes. Moreover, the accident resulted in the destruction of property in the Rockaway neighbourhood. Initially, various experts had attributed various factors such as terrorism, sabotage, and mechanical failure to the accident. However, NTSB concluded that the disconnection of the plane’s vertical stabilizer caused the accident. The first section of this discussion focuses on the summary of the crash, the second focuses on emergency response, while the third focuses on the information that NTSB reported on the crash regarding emergency response.
Key words: aircraft accident, crash, flight, passenger, crewmember, jetliner, terrorism, sabotage, mechanical problem, emergency response.
I. Summary of Crash
The American Airlines Flight 587
that was heading towards Santo Domingo from New York crashed in Queens in
mid-November of 2001 (Kleinfield, 2001). The jetliner had 260 people with all
of them perishing in the crash. The plane was carrying nine crewmembers and
flight attendants and 251 passengers. The jetliner crashed in Queens a few
minutes after taking off at about a quarter past nine in the morning at the
John F. Kennedy International Airport. The majority of the passengers on board
were immigrants of the Dominican origin residing in Washington Heights.
Moreover, the crash affected twelve homes in the neighbourhood. The crash was
the fourth among the major plane crashes since 1996 indicating that it had a
significant impact. According to NTSB, post-crash fire and various impact
forces destroyed the plane. Post-accident reports indicate that the plane was
uneventful. The flight had arrived at the airport on the previous night from
Costa Rica.

Get Help With Your Essay
If you need assistance with writing your essay, our professional essay writing service is here to help!
Essay Writing Service

A. What Caused the Crash?
Eyewitnesses claimed that they
witnessed one of the engines bursting into flames when the plane was still in
the air. The engine then separated from the rest of the plane veering towards
the ground. However, they were not sure on whether it was the right engine or
the left engine. After this separation, the plane twisted, turning on its nose,
and plunged into the ground. Aviation experts investigating the crash had
various factors that could explain the crash. These factors include terrorism,
sabotage, and mechanical problems. Before the crash, the engine of the plane
had various problems, and aviation engineers had to equip the plane with a pair
of general electric CF-6 engines (Kleinfield, 2001). Aviation experts reported
that the internal components of the engines had a history of breaking free
piercing the outer parts of the engine.
The most probable reason for the
crash was the disconnection of the vertical stabilizer due to excessive loads.
The creation of the unnecessary additional load may have been the mistake of
the first officer. The NTSB believes that the officer may have injected several
excessive and unnecessary inputs on the rudder pedal (NTSB, 2004). The inputs
were beyond the design of the plane resulting in the accident. However, the NTSB
also blames the design of the Airbus for the unnecessary inputs. Moreover, it
is important to mention that the rudder is connected to the vertical
stabilizer. Then, a problem with any of the two parts disables both parts.
Furthermore, aviation experts argue that officers use rudders on rare occasions
indicating that maybe the spoilers of Flight 587 had failed (NTSB, 2004).
Spoilers control roll, but in case they become non-functional, then officers
can use the rudder. Although the plane had no major issue during the fuelling
process, reports indicate that the avionics officer had claimed that number two
pitch trim had a problem just one hour to departure time. However, avionics
experts solved the problem, and the AFS check showed no fault.
The plane started experiencing turbulence issues about two minutes after take-off. These issues prompted the officers to introduce various procedures such as maximum power. Nevertheless, three seconds later, the right rear attachment of the vertical stabilizer fractured resulting to a loud thump. A few seconds later, the vertical stabilizer detached from the plane. The CVR records show that a minute later, none of the officers grunted signifying a problem. The plane then crashed (NTSB, 2004). The post-accident reviews revealed that both pilots and individuals in the aviation industry lacked clear information on the rudder systems and held wrong views about it. The pilots of Flight 587 may have held similar perceptions resulting in the wrong use of rudder systems. Consequently, this wrong use affected the vertical stabilizer leading to its separation. Expert analysis indicates that it is likely that they were unaware that the system cannot work at high airspeed.
B. What Areas were Impacted by the Crash?
The crash caused a serious impact on
the ground and to the people onboard. The total fatalities were 265. Of the 265.251,
there were passengers, two flight attendants, five people on the ground, and
seven cabin crew (NTSB, 2004). The disengagement of the vertical stabilizer
also leads to the destruction of the property. The separation caused the
engines to rest. On the ground, the crash affected several homes on both large
and small scale. The crash destroyed four homes, damaged three homes
substantially, and caused minor damage to three other homes. The plane crash
also caused minor damage to a gas station due to the impact forces of the
plane’s left engine. The right engine affected a boat and home significantly.
The crash affected the Rockaway’s neighbourhood
that accommodates a significant number of police personnel and fire-fighters.
The crash resulted in mental disturbance as the personnel was still recovering
from the 9/11 attacks (Wakin, 2001). The incident also affected the Jamaican
Bay destroying property. The vertical stabilizer of the plane’s rudder fell into
the bay almost one mile from the main site of the accident.
The crash affected certain areas in
New York indirectly. The incidence facilitated a temporary closure of all major
airports in New York. These airports include the Newark, John F. Kennedy, and
LaGuardia. Nonetheless, they reopened after some time to allow incoming
flights. The decision to close down the airports temporarily affected the flow
of traffic at the airports scaring passengers who were already scared after the
9/11 attacks. Moreover, accident prompted the temporary closure of tunnels and
bridges within New York. Furthermore, the Flight 587 crash affected business at
the Empire State Building. The police had to evacuate people for security
purposes. The accident also gave the customs officials at the Las Americas
International Airport a hard time (CNN, 2001). A significant number of
relatives of the passengers were already at the airport ready to receive them
when they got the news of the crash. The customs department had a difficult
time calming them down.
II. Emergency Response to Crash
A. What was the Local Emergency Response?
Aircraft accidents can occur
anywhere and at any time. Although the crashing of Flight 587 was a unique
incident, the emergency following the accident was also unique. Since the Flight
587 was a large aircraft, it required additional emergency systems. Various
groups and individuals showed up at the site to offer their help. The emergency
response was prompt with various volunteers, fire-fighters, police personnel,
and residents. Fire-fighting trucks and ambulances arrived almost immediately
to offer help. In this case, it is important to note that the local emergency
response was prompt as various groups cooperated to help normalize the
situation. Every individual, including the young, felt that they had a
responsibility in reducing the effects of the fire. Hence, they help reduce the
number of fatalities on the ground.
1. Who was the first on the scene and what was the action taken?
The primary responders at aircraft accidents scenes are the law enforces. However, for the case of the Flight 587, it was difficult for the law enforcers to seal off the scenes of the accident from the public. The incident attracted a significant number of individuals from the neighbourhood. The majority of these people had lost close family member or friend during the 9/11 attacks (Bella & Fearnow, 2011). Nevertheless, the police and fire-fighters responded promptly. They arrived at the various sites of the wreckage to control the public and help in reducing the effect of the flames. For instance, the police did a commendable job in barring the public from occupying the routes to the Rockaway peninsula. Due to geographical limitations, the place has only two entry points. Therefore, law enforcers helped turn back traffic at each end of the Marine Parkway and Veterans Memorial Bridges to facilitate the easy movement of the emergency vehicles to the peninsula.
The scene of the crash was home to a
significant number of security personnel and fire-fighters. When the plane
crashed, they responded within almost 15 minutes after the crash. More than 25
fire-fighting unit trucks and about 125 responded to the crash (Bella &
Fearnow, 2011). Other fire trucks and fire-fighters from far places joined them
later. The first fire-fighting truck, the Ladder Company 137, arrived at the
main crash scene with a significant number of fire-fighters. Off-duty officers
came out in large numbers to help those on duty. The officers helped hoist
ladders and stretch hoses. They performed extraordinarily. Without their
presence, it would have taken additional time to put out fires and save
additional homes.
Volunteer fire units in the region
also offered significant help. Residents and volunteers joined forces used
garden hoses o put out fires along the Beach 131st Street (Bella & Fearnow,
2011). When fire-fighters arrived, the residents helped in stretching hoses
towards flames. They also offered food, sheets, blankets, and water to the
rescue workers. The presence of residents willing to help encouraged the fire-fighters
who were already overwhelmed and worn out both physically and mentally.
B. What was the Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) Response to the Crash?
The Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting
(ARFF) have the responsibility of mitigating hazardous materials, providing
emergency medical care, and facilitating emergency management when an aircraft
catches fire. The organization developed a victim assistance program to help
the relatives of the deceased identify their bodies. The organization also
helped calm the victims, especially those who had lost their property during
the incidence. Since the parts of the plane fell on people’s houses, ARFF had
the responsibility of helping them fill forms for the plane removal process.
The victims were to sign the forms before the removal of the wreckage from the
scene (Department of Transportation, 2010). The organization worked with
various bodies to provide extra assistance to the victims and family members.
III. What Information did NTSB Report on the Crash Show Regarding the Emergency Response?
A. Were there Errors in Response that Resulted in Additional Deaths?
The nature of the accident was
unique prompting disorganized response, especially from the first responders at
the site of the accident. Moreover, the fact that parts of the plane burst into
flames while still in the air also generated additional confusion. Everyone
around that place was scared including both the residents and the emergency
response team members. For instance, the presence of fire-fighters and police
personnel who had worked at the World Trade Centre affected the response
resulting in additional deaths. These individuals were still traumatized by the
incident at WTC (Wakin, 2001). Similar sites haunt them affecting their
responsibilities. In this case, the fire-fighters were struggling to erase the
images of the WTC while trying to help at the Flight 587 crash sites.
The majority of the personnel were
still going through a healing process and experiencing the same events affected
them psychologically. Moreover, the investigators and emergency response team assumed
the accounts of the eyewitnesses. Witnesses reported that they observed the
aircraft on fire. This observation indicates that the eyewitnesses saw the
first effects of engine surges and discharge of the fuel. Almost 70
eyewitnesses saw a part of the plane on fire while still midair. About 27 of
the witnesses confirmed that they saw the plane burst into flames before the
disengagement of the tail (Bella & Fearnow, 2011). The NTSB and other
emergency response units ignored these eyewitness accounts resulting in
additional deaths. Response to these accounts by the NTSB could have minimized
the impact of the crash on the ground. Moreover, it could have prepared the
emergency response teams to evacuate unsuspecting residents to safe areas.
Failure for the NTSB to study the
tollbooth videos contributed to additional deaths. The videos showed the
critical moments of flight 587. The NTSB received the file from the FBI almost
two and half years after the crash. The videos would have helped the NTSB to
respond effectively to the crash and reduce the impact on the ground reducing
fatalities. Furthermore, failure by the Air Traffic Control Unit to consider
the control inputs contributed to the high number of fatalities (Wakin, 2001).
The ATC records indicate that the crew was struggling with a serious problem. Subsequently,
failure by the ATC unit to follow up the matter contributed to increased
deaths.
B. What Recommendations did NTSB Make for Emergency Response?
The NTSB made various
recommendations after the Flight 587 accident. The board offered
recommendations on emergency response and the maintenance of airplanes.
1. Recommendations for local emergency response.
The reports of the crash record that five lost their lives on the ground. The NTSB acknowledged the performance of the local emergency response. Various groups within New York including fire-fighters, residents, security personnel, and volunteers turned up in large numbers to help in containing a fire and turning debris to get bodies and help those buried in the debris. Thus, the NTSB recommends that the local governments should be keen on equipping the local fire-fighting units with enough equipment to improve their effectiveness in times of emergency. Moreover, the board recommends that the government should be keen on training additional individuals, both young and old, on how to fight fires. During the crash, a young volunteer stopped riding his bike to go and assist in controlling the fire.
The board recommends that the local
government should perform fire drills to prepare the residents in case of any
emergencies. The drills will help prepare residents psychologically for any
emergency reducing the chances of confusion. Moreover, the drills will equip
residents and firefighting agencies with necessary knowledge on how to manage
fires. The NTSB encourages improved communication between the various fire-fighting
agencies, volunteers, and residents. Communication facilitates successful
response in case of an emergency. The various bodies within a certain locality
should be in touch with one another through telephones, social network groups,
and radios at all times. Moreover, the local agencies should hold regular
meetings to one another and improve their working relations (Department of
Transportation, 2010). In this case, it becomes easier for them to work
together during an emergency. They should also meet to know their responsibilities
and specific areas.
2. Recommendations for ARFF response.
The NTSB also made various recommendations to the ARFF response after the Flight 587 accident. The board recommended that ARFF should cooperate with various medical groups to generate and offer guidance to the ARFF personnel. The medical groups should train the personnel on how to deal with victims of an aircraft fire accident and reduce the number of fatalities. Moreover, the medical groups should train these individuals on how to behave during rescue missions. The groups should make it clear to them that it is dangerous to strike or roll over people who have severe injuries or dead bodies when driving the ARFF vehicles. The NTSB also recommends that the medical groups should assist the ARFF officers with proper equipment training to enable them to know how to deal with the victims and save lives.
The NTSB also recommends that the
ARFF should liaise with various airports to create an Airport Emergency Plan
(AEP) to satisfy the specific needs of individual airports. The board also
insists that airports and ARFF should update the AEPs on a regular basis and
incorporate it into the normal training sessions (Department of Transportation,
2010). The plan will help the ARFF be aware of the current trends concerning
aircraft accidents and prepare accordingly. Moreover, it will equip the ARFF
officers with skills necessary to contain aircraft fires saving time and lives
during emergencies. Furthermore, the board requires that ARFF should create a
checklist for emergency response. This checklist will ensure that all personnel
are familiar with their responsibilities during emergencies.
The checklist will also include the names of the agencies that the ARFF can contact for help. The ARFF personnel should review this checklist on a regular basis, especially during training sessions and normal practice procedures. The NTSB also recommends that the ARFF should adopt a similar version of the National Incident Management System to improve its emergency preparedness program (Department of Transportation, 2010). The system includes various entities include government, the private sector, and non-governmental bodies. This system provides information on how the different entities cooperate to prevent, prepare, respond, recover, and mitigate an emergency. All responders under this system undergo vigorous training to prepare them adequately. In the same manner, the ARFF should develop a system that includes various bodies, both government and private, within and outside airports. This system will help the ARFF respond to emergencies, such as the Flight 587 accident, quickly and in an organized manner.References
Bella, T., &
Fearnow, B. (2011). Remembering America’s second-deadliest plane crash. The
Atlantic. Retrieved from
https://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2011/11/remembering-americas-second-deadliest-plane-crash/248313/
Cable News Network (CNN) (2001). Feds eye engines in air
crash. CNN.com. Retrieved from http://edition.cnn.com/2001/US/11/12/newyork.crash/
Department of Transportation (2010). Aviation emergency responses
guidebook. Florida: Department of Transportation-State of Florida.
Kleinfield, N. (2001). The crash of flight 587: The
overview; 260 on jet die in Queens crash; 6 to 9 missing as 12 homes burn;
doubts link to terrorism. The New York Times. Retrieved from

National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) (2004). In-flight
separation of vertical stabilizer American Airlines Flight 587 Airbus
Industrie A300-605R, N14053 Belle Harbor, New York November 12, 2001.
Washington D.C: National Transportation Safety Board.
Wakin, D. (2001). The flight of Flight 578: The response;
New crisis, but this time in backyards of rescuers. The New York Times.