Family Assistance Operations: Planning and Policy

Aviation Disaster Family Assistance

In 1996, the Aviation Disaster Family Assistance Act was enacted following several major aviation accidents in which air carriers, local responders, and federal agencies did not provide an effective coordinated effort to meet the needs of family members and survivors. The legislation requires air carriers to have plans detailing the notification to family members about an accident, the handling of manifests, the training of support personnel, the management of personal effects, and the coordination of memorials. It also tasks the NTSB with coordinating the efforts of the air carrier, local responders, and federal agencies for the family assistance response. This includes coordination for the recovery and identification of victims and the release of accident investigation information to family members while at the accident location and during the investigative process. The legislation applies to any domestic or foreign commercial aviation accidents occurring within the United States, its territories, possessions, and territorial seas and resulting in a major loss of life.

The specific sections of US Code are noted below:

The NTSB Federal Family Assistance Plan for Aviation Disasters details the responsibilities of the air carrier, the NTSB, specific federal agencies, and the American Red Cross.



Rail Passenger Disaster Family Assistance

In 2008, similar legislation was passed focusing on rail passenger accidents. The Rail Passenger Disaster Family Assistance Act sets out comparable requirements for Amtrak and future intra- and interstate high-speed passenger rail operators and the NTSB.

The specific sections of US Code are noted below:

The NTSB Federal Family Assistance Plan for Rail Passenger Disasters and the Rail Task Force Final Report details the responsibilities of the air carrier, the NTSB, specific federal agencies, and the American Red Cross.
 The NTSB Transportation Disaster Assistance Division has agreements with several federal agencies to support the various aspects of transportation disaster response. These agencies include:

http://www.state.gov/cms_images/departmentsealsmallsize.jpg Department of State

http://www.hhs.gov/web/images/seal_blue_gold_hi_res.jpg Department of Health and Human Services

http://wisdoma.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/fcs_large_seal.jpg Federal Bureau of Investigation

http://www.uscgboating.org/assets/1/workflow_staging/News/269.JPG Department of Homeland Security

http://www.defense.gov/multimedia/web_graphics/dod/DODc.jpgDepartment of Defense

http://www.aquamaniaswim.com/images/AmericanRedCrossLogo.jpgTDA also relies on the American Red Cross to provide disaster services, including crisis support, to family members and victims.
 

 

Transportation Disaster Assistance Training Courses

TDA offers advice and input to the transportation industry; local, state, and federal agencies; and foreign governments regarding family assistance planning. With more than 15 years of experience and hundreds of on-scene responses, TDA is a unique resource for industry and government.

In addition to providing both on-scene and remote coordination with local, state, and federal agencies, the NTSB offers guidance and training courses on transportation disaster response. These courses will better prepare emergency responders, local and state agencies and public safety personnel during transportation accidents investigated by the NTSB.

TDA provides several training courses through the NTSB Training Center in Ashburn, Virginia.

Family Assistance (TDA301): Developed for commercial transportation officials, representatives of federal agencies, staff of non-governmental relief organizations and emergency managers, this course is instrumental in understanding how any organization involved in the accident response can most effectively support the family assistance efforts.

Mass Fatality Incidents for Medicolegal Professionals (TDA403): This course examines the principles of managing the medicolegal response to transportation-related mass fatality incidents. Areas that will be addressed include managing search and recovery operations, the antemortem and postmortem data collection process, quality assurance, and interacting with family members regarding medicolegal issues.

Managing Transportation Mass Fatality Incidents (TDA 406): This course is designed specifically for the emergency management, law enforcement, and medicolegal communities. Areas that will be addressed include the core principles for managing the transition from first response and life safety operations into the disaster victim recovery and identification process.

For further assistance or questions regarding family assistance operations, please contact TDA.


Contact TDA

assistance@ntsb.gov

Toll Free - (800) 683-9369
Direct - (202) 314-6185
Fax - (202) 459-9402 ! NEW

Paul Sledzik -Director
Michael Crook - Coordinator, Transportation Disaster Operations
Eric Emery - Coordinator, Medicolegal Operations
Max Green - Coordinator, Emergency Operations
Elias Kontanis - Coordinator, Medicolegal Operations
Stephanie Matonek - Program Support Specialist

490 L'Enfant Plaza, SW
Washington, DC 20594


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