Learning Lessons from the Boston Bombing - WBAY

Learning Lessons from the Boston Bombing

Appleton -

Next month marks the one year anniversary of the Boston marathon bombing. The lessons learned from that tragedy are being used to teach first responders and emergency management officials from across the state.

The unthinkable happened last year on April 15th, not one, but two bombs went off at the finish line of the Boston marathon.

"We had some challenges after the bombs went off on how we managed such a massive response of resources, how it took us some time to stand up an effective command system over all of these regional, local, federal and state agencies," says Kurt Schwartz from Massachusetts Emergency Management.

It's those missteps and the things Massachusetts Emergency Management officials did right that is the topic of Kurt Schwartz address at this year's Governor's Conference on Emergency Management and Homeland Security in Appleton.

He says, "If I can share some of those best practices and lessons learned like others have shared them with me over the years, that can be a great benefit to our homeland security system."

Attendees at the conference agree, saying not only is what Schwartz telling them helpful in their preparedness and response to incidents, but so is speaking with others from Wisconsin.

Capt. Jeff Hebl from the New Holstein Police Department says, "You always kind of cross your fingers and really hope that when tornado season comes along that it's not us, but it's always nice to come and see what happened, like the year it happened in Siren or down near Madison to be able to come here and see how they responded, what worked, what didn't work, and then we're able to implement it into our plans."

Plans that everyone has in place, because as emergency management officials know, you plan for the worst while hoping for the best.

Say Keith Kesler from Douglas County Emergency Management, "Some of the local folks chuckle and laugh about it can't happen here, but we know it can."

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