Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management

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Decision‐making in multi‐agency groups at simulated major incident emergencies: In situ analysis of adherence to UK doctrine

Abstract When major incident emergencies occur in the UK (e.g., a terrorist attack), senior representatives convene from local emergency services, civil resource organizations, health agencies, and government. These groups make decisions that minimize the societal and economic impacts of major incidents. Their adherence to UK doctrine was assessed using video footage of 18 groups responding to a major incident in a simulation suite, and six groups responding to a large‐scale exercise. There were marked between‐group differences in the sequencing of decision‐making activities, and limited consideration of alternative courses of action. These results provide an impetus for future policy, guidance, and training to address (a) between‐group inconsistency in decision processes and (b) the lack of consideration of alternative courses of action.

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