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Thursday, 05 October 2017 17:14

Local Emergency Management Officials Say Region Is Prepared for Mass Shootings

(TNS) — Even before Sunday's mass shooting in Las Vegas, emergency management officials in Massachusetts and on the Cape and Islands were preparing for a similar tragedy here, including plans for how to get information to the families of the dead and injured.

"A lesson learned from the events in Orlando and other mass casualties, including San Bernardino and the Boston Marathon, is it's necessary that incident commanders set up a family assistance center," Kurt Schwartz, director of the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, said during an interview with the Times last month after he spoke at a meeting of the Barnstable County Regional Emergency Planning Committee.

A formal state-operated family and survivor assistance plan is in the final stages of development, according to Schwartz.

Initial responsibility for meeting the needs of survivors and family members falls to local authorities where the incident occurs, but state-level assistance can be quickly activated if requested.