Coordination during multi-agency emergency response: Issues and solutions

Paul Salmon, Neville Stanton, Dan Jenkins, Guy Walker

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    99 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose: Coordination between military and civilian agencies has previously been found to be a significant issue that affects the efficiency of multi-agency system responses to large-scale emergencies. The purpose of this article is to present the findings derived from a case study focussing on the problems that abound when the military attempts to work with civilian organisations. Design/methodology/approach: An integrated framework of human factors methods was used to analyse a Military Aid to the Civilian Authorities training exercise, involving the army and seven other responding agencies. Findings: A range of factors that hinder coordination between agencies during multi-agency emergency responses were identified. Potential solutions for removing these barriers and augmenting coordination levels are proposed. Practical implications: This research suggests that much further work is required in training and designing multi-agency response systems and procedures in order to optimise coordination between responding agencies. Originality/value: This article presents the first attempt to apply structured, theoretically underpinned human factors methods, to understand the problems that abound when the military works with civilian agencies during large-scale emergency responses. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)140-158
    Number of pages19
    JournalDisaster Prevention and Management
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011


    • Armed forces
    • Disasters
    • Emergency services
    • Government agencies
    • United Kingdom


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