NTSB Training Center.


Transportation Disaster Response Managing Transportation Mass Fatality Incidents: A Course for Emergency Managers, Law Enforcement, and the Medicolegal Community


This course is designed specifically for the emergency management, law enforcement, and medicolegal communities. In the wake of public transportation disasters, victim recovery and identification operations require a multiagency response. Success depends on the ability of these agencies to engage in a collaborative effort during the planning, operational, and draw-down phases of the response.

This course examines the core principles for managing the transition from first response and life safety operations into the decedent recovery and identification process. A combination of lectures, case study discussions, and a table-top exercise are provided by the course instructors and guest lecturers that have led mass-fatality responses inside the United States. This training approach provides the participants with a solid framework of understanding while illustrating some of the key challenges that commonly impact communications, coordination, and data quality assurance and control during the management of transportation disasters involving high numbers of fatalities. The course focuses on the need for agencies to understand the roles and responsibilities of the various entities involved in mass-fatality medicolegal response work, specifically within the context of transportation accidents, and it brings these individuals together to participate in a multidisciplinary training environment that emphasizes the common objectives of a mass fatality medicolegal response.

ID Code


Dates, Tuition
and Fee

February 5-6, 2013
$1034 early registration, by January 5, 2013
$1084 late registration, between January 6, 2012 and 12 pm (noon) ET on February 4, 2013

$100 processing fee will be added to tuitions for all offline applications. A tuition invoice can be ordered for a $25 processing fee.

Note:  payment must be made at time of registration.


8:00 am - 4:30 pm


NTSB Training Center • 45065 Riverside Parkway • Ashburn, Virginia 20147


OPEN.  Applications are now being accepted.

Apply to Attend

February 5-6, 2013




  • The response to a major transportation accident requires a multiagency approach. Bringing these groups together helps clarify the roles and responsibilities that local, state, and federal government agencies have to facilitate the medicolegal investigation and manage the victim identification and return process.
  • Lectures that focus on the core principles and key decisions that must be made to best facilitate search and recovery, missing persons reporting and antemortem data collection, and family assistance center operations.
  • Case studies presented by emergency management, law enforcement, and medical examiner/coroner personnel responsible for managing several recent transportation mass fatality operations.
  • Table-top exercise that emphasizes a collaborative approach to successfully manage a multiagency medicolegal response to a transportation mass fatality incident.

Performance Results

Upon completion of this course the participant will be able to:

  • Understand the roles and responsibilities of local, state, and federal government agencies in support of the medicolegal investigation of transportation mass-fatality incidents.
  • Explain how these agencies should collaborate to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the medicolegal investigation.
  • Identify the key decisions that will need to be made at the onset of the response to ensure a successful victim recovery and identification outcome.
  • Understand the importance of collecting and managing missing persons reports; understand the processes involved in developing a manifest of known missing from reported missing; and understand the various roles played by local, county, state, and federal agencies (including fire/rescue, hospitals, law enforcement, and medical examiners/coroners) in order to effectively and accurately complete this process.
  • Identify the challenges that exist during the collection and management of antemortem data and understand the roles that local, state, and federal agencies play in this process.
  • Understand the procedures for the search and recovery of decedents and promote more effective on-scene communication and coordination among local, state, and federal law enforcement, fire/rescue, emergency managers, and other responders.
  • Apply effective solutions to multi-agency operational challenges and promote the effective and efficient management of resources during a mass-fatality transportation accident response.
  • Understand the importance of data management and quality control procedures.
  • Understand the issues involved with interacting with family members throughout the mass-fatality management process and explain how the various local, state, and federal agencies interact with family members following an incident.

Who May Attend

This course is designed for emergency managers, law enforcement, and medicolegal specialists at the local, county, state, and federal levels. Attendees should be involved in the decision making process during the planning phase and play a role in managing operations during the response phase of a mass-fatality incident. Ideally, attendees should represent the following disciplines and organizations:

  • Municipal, county, state and federal law enforcement agencies
  • Local, county, state and federal emergency planners and managers
  • Medical examiners, coroners, and medicolegal death investigators
  • Public safety agencies such as fire/rescue and hospitals with responsibility for surge planning and response
  • Other organizations and agencies that have immediate or long-term, post-disaster responsibilities
  • Members of the academic community attending for research purposes (on a space-available basis)


Area hotels and restaurants


Washington Dulles International (IAD): 10 miles
Washington Ronald Reagan National (DCA): 30 miles
Baltimore/Washington International (BWI): 60 miles

More Information

Email TrainingCenter@ntsb.gov or call (571) 223-3900

Courses, forums and symposia are added to the schedule throughout the year.  Subscribe to the e-newsletter to learn about upcoming events and new programs: http://www.ntsb.gov/trainingcenter/list/list_mw020207.htm