Create a nationally standardized FEMA-ERG (Emergency Response Group). Within the 10 FEMA Regions I feel that they need to create Regional ERG’s that draw personnel from Federal / State / and Local Police, Fire, and EMS agencies to provide a unified response to Major Incidents. I believe that the ERG’s need to be federally funded to reimburse the member agencies for the use of their resources. I also feel that the agencies need to be given reimbursement to send their personnel to a standardized group of mandatory training. As an example, the Law Enforcement portion of the ERG could be required to attend a generalized training course to participate and then the ERG would have ongoing training through the year to deal with certain tasks: WMD/CBRNE, Basic SWAT/CT tactics, Crowd Control etc. On the Fire/EMS side they would attend the same initial training as the law enforcement side unifying the understanding of response and command. They would then attend task related training such as Search and Rescue, WMD/CBRNE, Mass Casualty Incidents. If there were multiple ERG’s within a region and a natural disaster or incident of terrorism were to strike the impact area ERG would activate and so would the nearest backup ERG’s to pool resources. Under this model all ERG’s would have a unified concept of operations. Due to the task force model of this program it would not drain any one single agency of its resources to continue to conduct it's own daily ops. Let’s say another Hurricane were to strike New Orleans, Region VI could activate the Headquarters Unit from Denton followed by Regional ERG's from Little Rock, Houston, and New Orleans to respond and handle rescue/relief/restoration operations. The responding rescuers would come from multiple departments but would have identical training and could work effectively to solve the problem. This capability could be infinitely expanded from a law enforcement standpoint in regards to a counter terrorist response from both a tactical and investigative standpoint. An incident like the Oklahoma City Bombing was a good example of how FEMA utilized a Urban Search and Rescue Task Force to effectively manage an incident. These concepts can be applied across the board to law enforcement, EMS, and firefighting.
Idea No. 73