February 9, 2000 Virtual Classroom Presentation
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About Gunnar Kuepper
Emergency and Disaster Management Inc.
EIIP Classroom Online Presentation
Major Aviation Disasters
Gunnar J. Kuepper
Most airplane accidents occur during take-off or landing on airport premises or in the surrounding communities. But experience has shown again and again that disaster can strike everywhere. Local emergency managers and rescue providers may believe there is little or no risk of an airplane crashing in their community. But particularly recent tragedies have proven otherwise. It is impossible to predict the location of future airline disasters and therefore it is essential to plan and prepare.
Local communities, including emergency management agencies, fire, rescue, EMS, and law enforcement departments, often have neither the experience nor the knowledge needed. Common problems include lack of training, planning, communications, coordination and resources. Solutions include training and exercising on a regular basis, including airport and aircraft familiarization, designated staging areas, allowing access only to units with specific assignments, establishing a recognizable command post, with clear communication and radio control, and establishing comprehensive Incident Command System (ICS). It is crucial to provide accurate and coordinated information to the media, the affected public, employees, etc.
An aircraft catastrophe with many fatalities goes far beyond the emergency scene and reaches deep into the hearts and minds of those impacted. It strikes emergency responders and recovery workers, survivors, families, and friends of victims, and last, but not least, the community.
GUNNAR J. KUEPPER
Gunnar J. Kuepper is Chief of Operations for the Los Angeles-based Emergency and Disaster Management, Inc. This independent agency advises private, industrial, and governmental organizations worldwide on state-of-the-art emergency and disaster handling.
Kuepper started his emergency and disaster management career in 1976 as a paramedic and a fireofficer. He went on to receive a BA in Law and Biochemistry from the German Universities of Bonn and Hannover in 1986. After graduation, he was named managing director and commanding chief of various EMS and rescue services throughout Europe, especially in Germany.
Moving the U.S. in 1997, he was certified as Incident Commander by the University of Nevada, the Fire Protection Academy, and as Business Contingency Planner by the Disaster Recovery Institute International (DRI). He completed specialized programs in Aviation Accident Management and is certified as a Trainer for Response to Terrorism Incidents by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Kuepper gives lectures in Aircraft and Railway Disaster Management. He developed the professional training program, "Working Together," which was given an award by the ARFFwg (Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting working group) in August 1999, and officially recognized by the city of Los Angeles.
Kuepper is an active member of the following national and international fire and disaster relief organizations: ARFFwg, IAEM (International Association of Emergency Managers), IAFC (International Association of Fire Chiefs), NFPA (National Fire Protection Association), and WADEM (World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine).
He serves on the advisory board of the Greater Los Angeles Chapter of the National Safety Council. He also is a principal member on the NFPA Technical Committee 1600 on "Emergency/Disaster Management and Business Continuity Programs."
Gunnar J. Kuepper contributes articles for trade journals (e.g., 9-1-1 MAGAZINE, ARFFnews, FIRE INTERNATIONAL Journal of Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, NFPA Journal, Journal of American Society of Professional Emergency Planners), and is a frequent speaker on the subject of Emergency Management.
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