Title

Terrorism Incident Response Education for Public-Safety Personnel in North Carolina and Tennessee: An Evaluation by Emergency Managers

Date of Award

12-2008

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Education

Major Professor

Russell L. French

Committee Members

Ralph Brockett, Edward Counts, Robert Levey, Judith Boser

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the appropriateness and sufficiency of an existing course jointly created by the United States Department of Justice, the National Fire Academy, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency entitled Emergency Response to Terrorism: Basic Concepts. The survey groups chosen for this evaluation included the 194 emergency managers for the two states of North Carolina and Tennessee.

The return rate for the descriptive survey study was 53.6 percent (n=104). This return rate was accomplished via two mailings and telephone interviews.

Overall, the respondents felt that the five main course topics (Understanding and Recognizing Terrorism, Implementing Self-Protective Measures, Scene Control, Tactical Considerations, and Incident Management Overview) were appropriate and important, although appropriateness scores were not as strong as those for importance.

It was found that the majority of the respondents were utilizing the course as an entrylevel course to better enable their first responders to respond to terrorism incidents.

When asked about the preferred method of course delivery, the majority of the respondents indicated that they thought the traditional classroom course was better than the computer-based instruction version. The main reason mentioned for the choice was the collective experience of all learners when they came together in a group to share past experiences and submit ideas.

Some relationships between size of county population and threat of terrorism as well as population size and public safety personnel seeking out courses to better enable them to respond to terrorism incidents.

The study was limited to the states of North Carolina and Tennessee and would need to be replicated to generalize findings beyond these states.

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