A new report on the emergency response to the Boston Marathon bombings is largely positive.
Harvard’s Kennedy School Program on Crisis Leadership praised the multiple law enforcement agencies for working together – the result of years of planning. But the report also said some first responders faced exhaustion after spending 36 hours straight on the job.
“The first rule of emergency management is that in a major event the first thing you should do is to send half the people home because you’re going to need them on the second shift,” Herman “Dutch” Leonard, a co-author of the report, told WBUR. “And so, we need to develop more bench strength, more experience, with a little bit more depth down into the organization, so that…when [officials] go home and leave the situation in the charge of one of their senior deputies, that they can be confident that things are going to be handled well.”
The Harvard report also said a gunfight that occurred four days after the marathon explosions became confusing. It said officers from multiple agencies arrived in Watertown and opened fire, placing themselves and the public in danger.
The report suggested better training to avoid what it called “contagious” gunfire.
The Associated Press and WBUR contributed to this report.