PLANNING FOR EMERGENCY MEDICAL COMMUNICATIONS
by Stan Harter, OES ACS program manager
(Prepared as a background for an agency official and of interest or assistance to emergency managers.)
Temporary emergency communications: Temporary government two-way radio Emergency and temporary two-way systems by communications volunteers onsite and on any buses pressed into service for major incident triage site to hospitals and care centers (Amateur Radio by ARES, RACES, and/or groups specifically assembled by some hospitals for this purpose)
- Design yourself a matrix. Down the lefthand side itemize all of possible methods of communication. Across the top list every site that has (or should have) one or more of the communications system under "How?" This is the inventory phase of your planning.
- Deficiency phase. From the inventory matrix it should be readily seen where the deficiencies are in your communications world. If in doubt, consult with a Public Safety communications expert. Such people must be on your team.
- Correction Plan. How do you remedy the deficiencies? Are there low or no-cost "fixes," albeit temporary? What are the long term solutions? What will it cost? How can it be phased over time? Identify the OPR (office of primary responsibility) for each task even if it only a partial plan or their segment of a plan. Who do you need to coordinate with that is necessary to the success in achieving your goals? Assemble a team. Delegate responsibilities. Set mileposts and target dates. Follow-up.
Remember, if it's worth doing right, it's worth writing down. Failing to document a funding request is no defense.