Homeland Security Schools Provide Crisis Management Education

The Al-Qaeda attacks of 9/11 have forever left a mark in the hearts of the American people. The effects caused changes in many aspects of business and government in the way they handle threats to their operations. No greater change was seen than that in the world of first responders. Immediately after ground zero was stabilized, politicians and public safety organizations began looking to see what could have been done better to reduce the loss of life. The 9/11 commission review of the actions of the command structure at ground zero provided insight and recommendations into the way fire departments, police departments, and all first responders within a region work together. Armed with the 9/11 commission recommendations, homeland security schools began offering crisis management education to both public and private entities.

Within the Global Strategy section of the 9/11 Commission Report, several recommendations were made regarding the training of first responders. Those recommendations were based upon the commissions finding that a segregated command system existed at ground zero. The segregated command structure was unable to communicate effectively with responding public safety, causing delays in the coordination of rescue efforts. The subsequent delays caused valuable time to be lost, which was believed to result in the unnecessary loss of lives. The commission believed a stronger central command structure would have been more effective in deploying the first responders.

In response to the 9/11 report, The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) created multiple courses, many of which are offered online. The courses provided by DHS begin with basic concepts and progress up to management level. These courses are designed to educate on the structure of a command system should a negative major event occur. Public safety agencies throughout the nation are tasked with knowing the basic concepts set forth in the training courses.

With the increased push to have agencies blend more seamlessly, several colleges and universities created Homeland Security School Annexes that provide crisis management education. Many of these homeland security schools have partnered with the Department of Homeland Security to provide Homeland Security courses, which provides individuals with certificates indicating a measure of competency, consistency, and uniformity.

Beyond the basic university annexes and DHS courses, homeland security schools are available to provide advance level courses to those desiring expertise in the area of crisis management. Schools qualified to teach in this area provide information in every aspect of crisis management. The information provided at these institutions allows students to understand the complexities of crisis management and have a level of expertise above that which is offered through the Department of Homeland Security and annexes.

Crisis management education is not isolated to government applications. Private sector businesses, both large and small, are part of the critical infrastructure of the U.S. As part of that infrastructure, it is important the private sector understand their impact on the U.S. economy and welfare should a negative event occur. This idea was presented clearly in the Presidential Policy Directive- 8 (PPD-8), which called for a National Preparedness System involving private and public sectors.

The potential for future critical events here in the U.S. appears to be increasing. With greater frequencies of armed assailants, threats, and other assaults, private and public entities alike need to be educated on the management of such events in order to be better prepared. Homeland security schools that provide crisis management education are perhaps the best source for understanding the complexities involved. From prevention to mitigation, these schools are able to prepare military, law enforcement, and those in the private sector, for dealing with a negative major event.

Dan Sommer works for Henley-Putnam University, a leading educational institution in the field of Strategic Security. For more info on Henley-Putnam University, homeland security schools, crisis management education, call 888-852-8746 or visit us online at http://www.Henley-Putnam.edu

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