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The Cost of Sidelining Emergency Managers in a Pandemic

It is an "isolate and bypass" type of operation.

by Eric Holdeman / March 4, 2021

This is a very interesting opinion piece to see in a Canadian newspaper: "VEZINA: The cost of sidelining emergency managers in a pandemic."

See this quote from the column:

"Emergency management is the only government function which is designed to take in information from all sectors, every ministry, every critical infrastructure, and to both operate in and advise on disasters and emergencies.

"It is also the only function which specializes in 'handshake artistry,' getting highly specialized groups like doctors, police, wastewater management, economists, lawyers, politicians, etc. to come to a consensus on an emergency timetable."

First of all, read the entire piece. Basically the author is calling out the fact that it is emergency managers who are trained to incorporate input from everyone. Putting pandemic decisions only on the medical community is inappropriate since there are other considerations.

I would use the issue of opening schools and businesses as an example. To be completely safe we should have a 100 percent lockdown. Is that desirable or even feasible to do? 

In my opinion, emergency managers have been sidelined in some cases as executive leadership took over the direct coordination and mediation of courses of action. These executives are mayors, county officials and governors. Why would they even think to involve their emergency management agency in the deliberations — these things are too important to leave to the professionals!! 

I do think that the elected officials know their political careers are on the line and therefore that makes them more directive in nature, without the benefit of fully staffed decision-making — outside of their immediate political circle.  

To the point of the author, they are not using the crisis-trained staff they have to help them in their decision-making. 

Andrew Cornwall shared the link above. 

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