Knox County responders explain their role in crisis management

Knox County responders explain their role in handling a major crisis

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Knoxville Fire Department spokesperson DJ Corcoran says the department will help in a crisis in any way possible. Knoxville Fire Department spokesperson DJ Corcoran says the department will help in a crisis in any way possible.
"This is very unique situation in Boston. I don't remember anything quite like this," said Lawson. "This is very unique situation in Boston. I don't remember anything quite like this," said Lawson.
"Road closures and curfews and things like that we'd be involved with," said Knox County mayor Tim Burchett. "Road closures and curfews and things like that we'd be involved with," said Knox County mayor Tim Burchett.

By STEPHANIE BEECKEN
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The shootout and manhunt in Boston brought a massive response from police. The city of Boston and other towns were shut-down at times, a tremendous number of people were told to stay in their homes.

Knoxville and Knox County emergency responders say they prepare extensively for all kinds of crisis situations. The EMA director says if a manhunt on the scale of what's been going on in Boston happened here emergency responders would be ready.

Flags remain at half-staff in Knoxville Friday in honor of the Boston marathon bombing victims. Boston was shut down and people were told to stay inside as hundreds of law enforcement officials searched the Boston region looking for the second suspect. Knoxville Knox County EMA Director Alan Lawson says this kind of manhunt is rare.

"This is very unique situation in Boston. I don't remember anything quite like this," said Lawson.

But Lawson says if a major crisis were to happen in Knox County officials would be ready.

"We on a local level practice all the time on all kinds of different emergencies," said Lawson.

He says when there is a large scale crisis officials will open the Emergency Operation Center. Leader from all emergency services will be there working together gathering information, setting priorities and making decisions. If additional manpower or resources are needed the mayors will make the call.

"Road closures and curfews and things like that we'd be involved with," said Knox County mayor Tim Burchett.

Knoxville Fire Department spokesperson DJ Corcoran says the department will help in a crisis in any way possible. They will provide medical treatment and put out fires. The ladders could be used for look out and the trucks as barriers and chances are if an area is locked down they will still respond but with caution.

"If it is a high risk area we just go in very carefully," said Corcoran.

Lawson says since 9-11 all emergency responders have been required to know a nation-wide universal incident command system, which means everyone from the FBI to the KFD would know and use the same terminology and procedures when responding to a major crisis.

"I'm sure we would do a good job and we have in the past when things have happened," said Lawson.

The spokesperson for the Knoxville Police Department says if a similar incident were to happen here there would be a cohesive response from emergency responders. The Knox County Sheriff's Department released a similar statement adding that the sheriff and police chief have a great working relationship and meet often to discuss response plans.

According to the FBI, there's an act which authorizes federal resources be used at the request of state and local authorities in the event of serious violent crimes, like a mass killing or shooting in a public place. The FBI would also take over jurisdiction if it's an issue of national security or if a federal crime is committed.

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