By Ala Jaff. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.
The Erbil Bombings and Police Response: A Critical Point of View
The role of the police and the security forces as First Responders immediately following the triple bombings outside the Security Services (Asayish) office of Erbil were a real test of domestic security skills and operational preparedness.
Although it is known that seven Asayish lost their lives and over 80 people injured, it is not known how many of the seven that were killed at the initial blast, how many at the subsequent blast and how many lives could have been saved or prevented from being injured.
This article will critically examine and highlight ways in which First Responders can improve their effectiveness and preparedness upon arrival at the scenes of explosions.
After a major critical incident such as a bombing, the risk exists (and it should be expected) that there will be mass injuries, casualties, confusion and chaos. However, through proper training of emergency services and first responders, this risk can be mitigated.
Upon reviewing numerous media clips of the initial bombings from Rudaw TV, NRT, Kurdistan TV and YouTube (just to name a few), it is evident that there was mass confusion, chaos, ill-prepared and ill-trained traffic police, soldiers (Peshmerga), and other first responders (such as ambulance workers), all around. To make matters worse, overly “eager” civilians are seen rushing to the scene and even confronting the few security officers that appear to attempt at stopping civilian traffic to the blast sight— to no avail.
Immediately following a blast, the focus of the first responders, such as police, Peshmerga and ambulance, should not be assisting victims or removing the dead, but to prevent further casualties and damage to infrastructure. This is done by immediately setting up a large cordoned area surrounding the blast site and blocking all vehicular and civilian traffic from entering or leaving this area.