Updated 06/23/2009 06:48 PM
ACA after-incident study will examine emergency response
BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -- On April 3rd, this emergency center was flooded with more than 2,000 calls from around the world after Jiverly Wong shot and killed 13 people and then himself at the American Civic Association.
"It was such a violent act in such a short period of time with no warning, it makes it one of the toughest types of incidents for a community and first responders," said Brett Chellis, Broome's Emergency Services director.
And because of its unprecedented nature and complexity, a new "after-incident" study has been commissioned to evaluate the emergency services response.
"In our view, I think we responded very well to the incident. And that's one of the reasons we want a third party to come in and give us an unbiased opinion. I hope there are things we can learn. Constructive criticism is helpful," said Chellis.
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Orlando-based Beck Disaster Recovery will perform the $15,000 study. There are no preliminary findings yet, but there are some target areas of interest.
"We suspect that a human services element will be critical in terms of how human services and emergency management and law enforcement coordinate their response activities," said John Mills-Pierre, a senior consultant with BDR.
One thing the study won't be examining is police tactics, although officials hope it will help them coordinate better with local law enforcement, the media and the public in general.
"I don't know what the short fallings will be, except to maybe try to process information more effectively and disseminate it better," said Chellis.
The report is expected to take two to three months and will be available to the public.
This is the first study of its kind commissioned by Broome County.
Funds for the study came from the Broome 911 surcharge.