Mass Fatalities Incident Response Planning

Dennis McGowan
Fatalities Management Program Manager
University of Tennessee

April 14, 2010

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Transcript (HTML)
Transcript (MS Word

Related Websites:
National Mass Fatalities Institute
"A Morbid Science" article, October 2009
FEMA G386 Mass Fatalities Course Materials
Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team (DMORT) Web site

67 Ratings Submitted
16 (24%) Academia 5 (7%)
31 (46%) Business 11 (16%)
18 (27%) Government 34 (51%)
2 (3%) Volunteers 7 (10%)
0 (0%) Other 10 (15%)

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"This was my first opportunity to attend a live EMForum webcast. Excellent format and information provided. I will be a regular attendee and hope to register my company as a Partner in the very near future."
Bruce K. Bickel
Applied Training Solutions, LLC

"Excellent program."
Brian Dolan
UMDNJ-University Hospital

"Good information, thanks."
Brad Schwartz
State of Ohio

"I enjoyed the presentation, it was very informative. I would like to see a slide on key components of a plan."

"Thank you very much for the interesting presentation."
Christine Grist
Ministry of Health Services

"Points involved in Planning for Mass Fatality Incidents were informative."
Brian Onieal
NJ Office of Homeland Security

"Good review for me."
Marion Boon

"Very informative. Raised more questions regarding my EOP and Fatality management."
Rick Shryock
Marion VA Medical Center

"Thank-you for the opportunity to sit in. I am the DVI (DMORT) coordinator for the Province of BC in Canada and found the presentation very useful!"
Karen Collins
BC Coroners Service

"Good overview of issues pertaining to mass fatalities. Provided some issues/ideas for consideration relative to own jurisdiction. Thank you!"

"Excellent presentation. Very knowledgable presenter. Covered the role of DMORT very well."
Charlie Hanson
Montana DES

"A wealth of great information in a short presentation."
Joe Lillard
Astin County Health District

"Not my direct responsibility but did learn some important info."

"I attended to get caught up on some of the MFI materials (and knowing Mr McGowan). It was a great presentation. I knew all of it, already. I had hoped for some new information but I think this presentation is exactly what the average stakeholder needs to hear."
Chris Hiles

"I got several good pieces of information to use as our state continues its state level mass fatality planning efforts. Dennis mentioned several points including removal of large numbers of bodies and who will do that, that we have not yet addressed in our plan."
Phyllis Beasley

"I actually had my fire chief attend this with me, and to have Dennis validate much of the things that I have been pushing for years reall struck a chord with him. An excellent presentation, one of the best I have participated in."
Steve Gluck
US Army

"Interesting topic. More on the psychological aspects of the responder and families would be of value."

"I have previously been exposed to many of these concepts, but they were VERY well presented here, and I gained a fresh perspective on many of them. Well done!"
Raymond M. Serowik
Broome County (NY) Emergency Management

"Good review of history of MFI, and a good general discussion of how to prepare. Unfortunately this project (like many others) is easier to say than do."

"Most excellent and timely presentation. Job well done. Thank you, Dennis!"
Isabel McCurdy

"Good national overview, but would have perferred a bit more on the challanges that the local communities face when dealing with a Mass Fatality situation. I.E. Top ten Problems."

"Very well done."

"The presentatuion was very good and very basic. I am looking for something in more depth. I am a board certified pathologist involved in disaster management."
[email protected]
Waterbury Hosptal 06708

"Very timely albeit difficult subject that must be dealt with in a planning fashion rather then a reactive one. Your outstanding speaker and SME gave us a lot of places to start. Thanks."
Bob Davisson
Benton Co. MO EMA

"Articulate and well-informed speaker presented a very good overview of mass fatality considerations and preparedness. Once federal CONOPS is finalized, would suggest distributing it or providing URL to participants."
Gary J. Kleinman

"Wow! Mr. McGowan's presentation was excellent especially in terms of caveats when approaching planning for Fatalities Management and the various options available for human remains holding/processing. I will definitely use his advice from the presentation and start the planning process immediately for Fatalities Management/Mortuary Affairs immediately. Thanks immensely."
Scot Freeman
Aberdeen Proving Ground Office of EM

"This was extremely beneficial to me. I am a Public Health Network Coordinator responsible for Emergency Public health planning in my District in New Hampshire. As a planner this has given me more insight into who should be involved in the planning process. Thank You."
Stephen Allen
New England Center for Emergency Preparedness

"This is out of my field of responsibility, and certainly out of my level of expertise at this time. The information presented was thought provoking and will be good reference material for future planned involvement in EM. Thanks so much!"

"Excellent presentation."
Peggy Fulton
SCDMH Division of Inpatient Services

"The presentation was well planned introduction to the problems and assets need in a mass fatalities incident without being bogged down with details. Great outline. Thanks for your time and effort."
R. Rathbone

"Very good presentation and opportunity I think it was great that you kept this presentation to 1 hour and the topic was one that you don't find very much current information and examples for. I work as the operations division director for the maine Emergency Management Agency and also am involved with planning and training for this states DMORT team and procedures. I would be happy to share any information that you may want to review. You may contact me at email [email protected]."
Mark Belserene
State of Maine Emergency Management Agency

"Excellent and thought provoking."
Thom Carr

"Topic of Mass Fatalities was useful for an Emergency Manager and Safety Specialist (me). Thanks."
Phil McCarthy

"Excellent presentation on subject matter."

"It was an excellent presentation for people approaching MF issues for the first time or so. "

"The presentation gave a very nice overview of the various aspects of Mass Fatality events that need to be considered as we put together incident plans."
Fred Fowler
Southeastern Massachusetts EMS Council

"Very insightful and relevant."

"Needed information. Helpful PowerPoints."

"I needed a primer of things to think about as I begin developing a plan, and he provided many thought provoking issues."

"I was able to access and download the transcript and the slides from the mass fatalities presentation with Dennis today and I wanted to let you know that I thought it was very well done. Having come from Central Florida where we understand the critical need for planning for mass fatalities it was good to see and hear the information that Dennis provided. I look forward to participating in future presentations."
Greg Ek-Collins
Statewide Emergency Operations Manager, Oregon Department of Transportation

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Dennis McGowan is currently vice president of SAC International, a Fatalities Management program manager with the University of Tennessee and an international trainer on the topic of Mass Fatalities events as related to acts of terrorism, natural disasters and pandemic outbreaks. Intimately involved with the World Trade Center identification efforts at the New York City Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, McGowan was named a section manager for documenting human remains recovered at the site. He is the former Chief Investigator with the Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office and led the investigations into several recent notorious cases. With 30 years of experience as a fatalities management planner and responder McGowan addresses contemporary challenges in disaster management.