Developing an operational capabilities index of the emergency services sector.

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In order to enhance the resilience of the Nation and its ability to protect itself in the face of natural and human-caused hazards, the ability of the critical infrastructure (CI) system to withstand specific threats and return to normal operations after degradation must be determined. To fully analyze the resilience of a region and the CI that resides within it, both the actual resilience of the individual CI and the capability of the Emergency Services Sector (ESS) to protect against and respond to potential hazards need to be considered. Thus, a regional resilience approach requires the comprehensive consideration of all ... continued below

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Collins, M.J.; Eaton, L.K.; Shoemaker, Z.M.; Fisher, R.E.; Veselka, S.N.; Wallace, K.E. et al. February 20, 2012.

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In order to enhance the resilience of the Nation and its ability to protect itself in the face of natural and human-caused hazards, the ability of the critical infrastructure (CI) system to withstand specific threats and return to normal operations after degradation must be determined. To fully analyze the resilience of a region and the CI that resides within it, both the actual resilience of the individual CI and the capability of the Emergency Services Sector (ESS) to protect against and respond to potential hazards need to be considered. Thus, a regional resilience approach requires the comprehensive consideration of all parts of the CI system as well as the characterization of emergency services. This characterization must generate reproducible results that can support decision making with regard to risk management, disaster response, business continuity, and community planning and management. To address these issues, Argonne National Laboratory, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Sector Specific Agency - Executive Management Office, developed a comprehensive methodology to create an Emergency Services Sector Capabilities Index (ESSCI). The ESSCI is a performance metric that ranges from 0 (low level of capabilities) to 100 (high). Because an emergency services program has a high ESSCI, however, does not mean that a specific event would not be able to affect a region or cause severe consequences. And because a program has a low ESSCI does not mean that a disruptive event would automatically lead to serious consequences in a region. Moreover, a score of 100 on the ESSCI is not the level of capability expected of emergency services programs; rather, it represents an optimal program that would rarely be observed. The ESSCI characterizes the state of preparedness of a jurisdiction in terms of emergency and risk management. Perhaps the index's primary benefit is that it can systematically capture, at a given point in time, the capabilities of a jurisdiction to protect itself from, mitigate, respond to, and recover from a potential incident. On the basis of this metric, an interactive tool - the ESSCI Dashboard - can identify scenarios for enhancement that can be implemented, and it can identify the repercussions of these scenarios on the jurisdiction. It can assess the capabilities of law enforcement, fire fighting, search and rescue, emergency medical services, hazardous materials response, dispatch/911, and emergency management services in a given jurisdiction and it can help guide those who need to prioritize what limited resources should be used to improve these capabilities. Furthermore, this tool can be used to compare the level of capabilities of various jurisdictions that have similar socioeconomic characteristics. It can thus help DHS define how it can support risk reduction and community preparedness at a national level. This tool aligns directly with Presidential Policy Directive 8 by giving a jurisdiction a metric of its ESS's capabilities and by promoting an interactive approach for defining options to improve preparedness and to effectively respond to a disruptive event. It can be used in combination with other CI performance metrics developed at Argonne National Laboratory, such as the vulnerability index and the resilience index for assessing regional resilience.

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  • Report No.: ANL/DIS-11-9
  • Grant Number: DE-AC02-06CH11357
  • DOI: 10.2172/1035459 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1035459
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc845212

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  • February 20, 2012

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

Description Last Updated

  • May 23, 2016, 2:43 p.m.

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Collins, M.J.; Eaton, L.K.; Shoemaker, Z.M.; Fisher, R.E.; Veselka, S.N.; Wallace, K.E. et al. Developing an operational capabilities index of the emergency services sector., report, February 20, 2012; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc845212/: accessed July 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.