Agencies Learn Many Lessons in Wake of Boston Marathon Bombings

The recent bombings at the 2013 Boston Marathon and the subsequent manhunt have been an eye-opening experience for many. Both the healthcare and law enforcement communities were able to evaluate their procedures in the aftermath, giving them insight into how they used lessons learned from 9/11 to the Boston disaster. They are also focusing on what areas they need to improve upon, according to an article by www.govinfosecurity.com and www.npr.org.

Healthcare Facilities

Healthcare facilities in particular had to step up to the plate. They received an influx of patients following the bombing, plus had to deal with staff shortages as the city of Boston was locked down during the search for the bombers. Below are some of the key areas where the resiliency of hospitals was tested the most.

Staff Location

Healthcare agencies should have an idea of where staff are located at any given time. One lesson learned from the Boston marathon bombing was that many of their IT staff were in close relation to the bomb blasts. Luckily, none were injured, but if they had been, the ability of healthcare facilities would have been badly affected. The main lesson learned in this was that going forward hospitals and other facilities need to keep an eye on and have better control over what their IT staff are volunteering for at any given time.

Movement Restrictions Effect on Staffing

Another area that was brought into the spotlight was the affect that the lockdown in the Boston area had on the ability of healthcare staffers to report to work. For the most part, when such situations occur, facilities should allow their workers (mainly those with administrative functions) to work from a remote location, such as the home. This is not always an option though. For healthcare specialist, such as nurses and doctors, when such an event takes place, they have no choice but to remain at work. That is why healthcare facilities need to make sure that they remain adequately staffed and track their staffing so that they can make adjustments when needed.

Law Enforcement

In response to the Boston bombings and aftermath, local law enforcement also learned where they had improved since 9/11. Just as important though were the lessons that still needed to be improved upon, including the sharing of information.

Lessons Learned: Interagency Cooperation

A hard lesson learned from 9/11 was that cooperation between the various agencies on a state, local, and national level was the biggest driver toward catching those responsible in the wake of such actions. This was best shown in the aftermath of the Boston Bombing, as those responsible were caught within four days of the blast.

Lessons Still to Learn: Intelligence Failures

One area in which the intelligence community failed, though, was the sharing of vital information on the older suspect. Information that, had it been shared, might have possibly put a stop to the activity before it got to the point it did.

So, some valuable lessons were learned following the Boston Marathon bombing and lessons learned during the last terrorist attack on American soil were put into action. The bombings also showed that there are still improvements to be made, hopefully in time for the next such event.


For more information about the Boston Marathon bombing and disaster response, visit:
http://www.govinfosecurity.com/boston-cios-share-lessons-learned-a-5707
and
http://www.npr.org/2013/04/24/178815160/boston-response-praised-but-intelligence-sharing-questioned