ITD emergency structure featured in TR News

ITD’s new approach to emergency management reached an international audience recently when it was featured in a Transportation Research Board's, TR News, special publication on the “Logistics of Disaster Response.”

The publication included a major report on ITD’s new emergency management structure that establishes a department-wide approach to take advantage of individual strengths, experience and training. The structure relies on duty officers who stand ready to respond in the event of an emergency.

Bryan D. Smith, who retired as ITD’s emergency program manager last month, wrote the extensive magazine article “Planning for the Worst, Teaming with the Best.” He created a new emergency program organizational chart that outlines cross-disciplinary responsibilities.

The concept enables ITD to broaden emergency response capabilities without hiring additional staff and to take advantage of a wide range of expertise, from finance to planning, logistics and equipment.

It enables ITD emergency response to expand or contract according to the demands of an event – to become as large as necessary (but no larger than required), and to scale back when it subsides.

“To support, sustain, and maintain an emergency program today requires a staffing system that is not only adaptable, but taps into properly trained personnel, so that the department can have the appropriate expertise, authority, and critical thinking to respond in a disaster or large emergency … a system that assembles the best team possible,” he wrote.

Smith used a devastating landslide near Bonners Ferry in 1998 as an example of the need to rethink emergency response. The slide was 500 feet wide, involved an estimated 400,000 cubic yards of material, undermined U.S. 95, severed the state’s major north-south route and buried a major Seattle-to-Chicago rail line.

Click here to access a PDF of Smith’s article.

Published 10-11-13