Full-Scale Exercise Helps Capital Region Prepare


In 2010, Hagerty was asked to team with Dewberry to support the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, National Capital Region (NCR) Tactical Exercise Series, which included two tabletop exercises (TTXs) and one full-scale exercise. The exercise series was designed to help the NCR prepare for attacks similar to those done in Mumbai, India and Beslan, Russia.


These exercises were designed to evaluate current plans for establishing interoperable communications, coordination, and response of Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT), Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD), Police, Fire, and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) resources from various jurisdictions within the NCR using the Incident Command System (ICS).


Working with Dewberry, the Hagerty team helped design and facilitate two TTXs. The first TTX was specifically designed for team leaders from SWAT and EOD, and included representatives from Fire and EMS. The exercise incorporated operational issues for dealing with multiple active shooters who used Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and high powered rifles to take over a large educational facility. Major policy issues identified during this exercise were highlighted and incorporated into the second TTX, which was designed for all Police Chiefs and Fire Chiefs within the NCR. High ranking officials from various state and federal agencies also participated in the second exercise.

The full-scale exercise was designed to evaluate both the integration of SWAT and EOD teams and the coordination of a multi-agency response to a terrorist hostage situation. The scenario revolved around a multi-story building where terrorists had taken hostages and were holding them on various floors. Tactical teams had to coordinate entry into the building and on to each floor, deal with IEDs placed to restrict team movements and injure team members, and communicate with each other as well as tactical command in order to engage terrorists, rescue hostages, and evacuate casualties as quickly and safely as possible. The scenario also required tactical teams to coordinate emergency evacuation from higher floors with Fire and EMS since tactical team members and hostages were trapped by fires started by the terrorists.


The full-scale exercise was well-received and every participant learned a great deal from being involved in such a realistic scenario. Hagerty participated in the hotwash debrief and contributed to the After Action Reports provied after each exercise.

Promote Mission Ready Package Development


The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) and the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA) hired Hagerty, in conjunction with TetraTech, to promote mission ready package (MRP) development for public health and medical resources.


Mission ready packages are pre-determined response assets that are organized, developed, trained, and exercised prior to an emergency or disaster. To understand what types of MRPs were needed, Hagerty conducted background technical research and compared public health and medical resources from ASTHO and NEMA with those from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and NIMS (National Incident Management System). This comparison identified MRP gaps; a survey subsequently helped identify priority areas for medical and public health MRPs.


The Hagerty team identified potential MRPs and worked with a client Advisory Group to select ten MRPs for development within these four areas: fatality management, mobile field medical care, shelter and functional needs support services, and medical surge. The team began building out the MRPs and converting them to EMAC-required templates. They reviewed the MRP templates and developed a companion document to go along with each.

After the review process, the team reached out to key stakeholders for comments. Hagerty staff developed and hosted an educational webinar aimed at state-level Public Health Directors and staff. The webinar explained the MRP template development process, provided and overview of project deliverables, clarified what to expect in the way of additional materials and next steps, and answered questions.


After the webinar, Hagerty distributed the materials (10 MRP templates, forms, companion document) to stakeholders for review. The team collected comments about the MRP process and information about whether a state would be able to request or provide the MRPs in the event of an emergency. The feedback was incorporated into a comment matrix as a supplement for future work; the project ended within the allotted timeframe and was well received by both client groups.



Evacuation Best Practice Guidance


In 2013, the leading organization for the nation’s governors, the National Governors Association, asked Hagerty to help develop a comprehensive Evacuation Best Practice Guide to improve evacuation preparedness when dealing with large populations before, during, and after disasters.


The purpose of the guide was to educate and prepare Governors on common frameworks, terms, and legal standards about evacuation with a goal of improving evacuation preparedness across the country.


Hagerty worked with the National Governors Association to incorporate best practice material on evacuation planning, how to prepare for and implement an evacuation, mass care considerations, and community implications for reentry after a disaster. They sought opinions from stakeholders at all levels of government and incorporated many of them into the final guide.


The National Governors Association was pleased with the final guide and released the Governor’s Guide to Mass Evacuation on November 24, 2014.