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Are More Policies Needed to Aid Emergency Management Collaboration?

Are More Policies Needed to Aid Emergency Management Collaboration?


By Allison G. S. Knox
Contributor, EDM Digest

Successful emergency management is often the result of great collaboration among personnel, agencies and nonprofit organizations coming together in the midst of a disaster. Collaboration is an integral component of emergency management, but sometimes it can be difficult to execute effectively.

However, some of the most effective collaborations are founded on a policy. The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Incident Command System, for example, is a policy that has helped first responder organizations stay focused during an emergency and effectively collaborate on resources, personnel and communications. Mutual aid agreements between local and state governments have also been of great help in promoting collaboration between departments and agencies.

The Recognition of EMS Personnel Licensure Interstate Compact (REPLICA) is the nation’s first and so far only multi-state compact for the emergency medical services profession. Its aim is to foster greater collaboration among the states.

REPLICA is a coordinated database that will permit EMS licensure sharing and create greater accountability. The program will also close some of the gaps that EMS organizations have experienced throughout the country.

According to the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians, the 10 states that have joined REPLICA are:

  • Colorado
  • Texas
  • Kansas
  • Virginia
  • Tennessee
  • Idaho
  • Utah
  • Mississippi
  • Wyoming
  • Georgia

REPLICA’s role in furthering collaboration among states begs a philosophical question for the emergency management community: Do we need more policies for the foundational piece of collaboration in emergency management?

Programs like REPLICA Could Add a New and Important Dimension to Disaster Management

For many agencies, departments, nonprofit organizations, local governments – and anyone involved in emergency management – more programs like REPLICA could be the very thing that adds a new and important dimension to the appropriate management of disasters.

After all, it can be difficult for organizations to come together in a collaborative effort on their own. Additional policies might create a more collaborative environment in emergency management.

American Military University


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