Emergency Management 101: Good people, who are well trained, will always rise to the occasion!  The New Yorker has a nice article by Dr Atul Gawande, author of The Checklist Manifesto.  He interviewed some of the leadership in the emergency room at his hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital (part of the Harvard Medical School), about what they did during the rush of patients after the horrific bombing last Monday.  The answer was quite simple and words to the wise for good leaders and those aspiring to be good leaders, “I mostly let people do their jobs.”  And further, “…everyone spontaneously knew the dance moves….didn’t have to tell people much of what to do at all.”   Not words you would expect to hear with the magnitude and details of what had happened at the Boston Marathon, but exactly the words good leaders would expect.  Why?  Because, good leaders don’t micromanage, good leaders train their people and then like a mother bird, when it is time, they let them jump out of the nest and do what they do…those are the good leaders.  The good leaders can do this because they have confidence in their people.  They have confidence because they have trained and nurtured those subordinates. They don’t have to worry about how they will perform, because they have gotten them ready long before they need to use these skills.  How?  The article does a great job, very succinctly, of explaining how when various events took place previously around the country, the personnel in these various hospitals, because it was not just this hospital that was prepared it was every Boston hospital, studied and learned lessons from those events.  They studied what happened, what went right, what went wrong and trained based upon these events.  Just like any good professional athlete, they “studied” film to be prepared for when and if the day came when they had to go to work.
Just like Boston, emergency mangers and emergency responders all around the world that study and learn from past events, while preparing for events that may have yet to ever been faced, will perform well….and it all starts with good leadership!