Crisis Chronicles: Remembering 9/11 and a Dedication to First Responders, Civilians who Perished that Day

By Tim Curry on September 10, 2023 from Crisis Chronicles via

Through almost anything in life, the pivotal point of success and failure is almost critical at the crux of communication. Nothing could be a more crucial example of this than disaster management. For anyone who was alive and has the capacity to remember the events of 9/11 twenty-two years ago, simply the method of which that event was communicated to you is likely seared in you mind.
That event changed all our lives, our history, how we handle disasters, and many things in between. I remember Tuesday morning, September 11th, 2001, as being a particularly pleasant morning. The weather was great, and the skies were clear. Going to school that morning I had no idea that the world would look a whole lot different by lunchtime. In the days after 9/11, responders at Ground Zero used hand signals and megaphones to communicate because the radio networks crashed and the ones that were left wouldn’t communicate between agencies. Cell phone networks crashed due to high volume of calls, and we lacked a national standard for incident management. 
In the wake of the disaster, emergency management underwent significant changes. The biggest of which was the reorganization of FEMA into the newly created Department of Homeland Security and the development of a National Incident Management System. The National Incident Management System or NIMS for short, is a standardized program that every first responder must go through. It assures that responders in every corner of the country are handling incidents in the same manner. NIMS stressed the importance of a unified command system. In other words, police, fire, emergency medical services, and emergency management all collaborating to manage an incident. The NIMS system can be small, or very large depending on the size of the incident.
Communication was another issue that saw significant changes. Radio networks have since been standardized so that every public safety radio has certain channels that can talk to each other. Standard phraseology has also been implemented to ensure that communication is clear and consistent no matter who is talking on the radio. 
Intelligence sharing was one of the major failures outlined in the 9/11 Commission Report.  The solution to this problem was the creation of Fusion Centers. Every state now has a Fusion Center, and their sole job is “fusing” intelligence and information sharing together. They disseminate and share information across every level of government ensuring that the right information is in the right hands at the right time. 
Even though 22 years have gone by, it is still important to remember the sacrifice of so many that day and the sacrifices still being made by first responders with 9/11 related illness. This post is dedicated to the 343 FDNY Fireman, 23 NYPD Officers, 37 Port Authority Officers, and the 2,977 civilians that lost their lives that day. May their memory live on forever. 

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