Thursday’s news items, part 2 [so long ago and incident management (or mismanagement)] – 9/3/2020

“March 4, 2020 – To date, there are NO cases of COVID-19 in Pennsylvania.” | Can you remember March of this year? That’s the first mention of COVID-19 at the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s archives. NO COVID-19 CASES! That was even before the Trump Coronavirus — renamed by this publication — due to the President of the United States’s inept handling and renaming of COVID-19 as the “China Virus.”

March ICS 209

That ICS form 209 identified one of these accomplishments as “Finalized draft procedure for quick response resources for acute care and long-term care facilities.” and among its challenges, “National guidance is evolving. Keep partners informed as it changes.”

Then, the public, nor the states and local municipalities, knew how inept and botched the federal response would be as it “evolved.” Everyone assumed the federal government would pull out its pandemic plan and begin to execute it. Who would ever think the current administration had trashed the plan and would make-up responses as the pandemic spread?

From 22 deaths in the US on March 9, 2020 to nearly 190,000 deaths today — in just under six months — the US bungled response has delivered an average of over 1,000 deaths a day.

First ICS 209 | First responders, especially leaders, know the ICS form 209 is one of the incident management forms of the Incident Command System. And on March 9, 2020, Pennsylvania’s Department of Health released its first Incident Status Report. Personnel there knew that COVID-19 indeed was an out-of-the-ordinary incident in the making. The ICS form 209 is an ICS form 201 ramped up. First on scene emergency responders — typically, fire, police and emergency medical services — know that the initial scene size-up is key to effective incident management.

Arlington 201Our hero | Police Captain Rebecca Hackney has been on our hero list since we first learned about her actions on September 11, 2001. Her unflappable response in detailing the incident size-up and committing it to paper as a hasty ICS Form 201 has to be a model for responders everywhere.

“Shortly after Lieutenant Medarios assumed initial command at the incident site on September 11, Captain Rebecca Hackney arrived and took over as Incident Commander. Captain Hackney sketched the initial Arlington County Police Department ICS assignments on a notepad. ”  – from the Arlington County After-Action Report in response to the September 1 Terrorist Attack on the Pentagon

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