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5 TOPIC SEARCH The available literature review on mutual aid agreements primarily focused on written agreements that comply with FAA Advisory Circular 150/5200-31C. The advisory circular explains what is expected from an air carrier airport certified under FAR Part 139, those airports that serve air carrier (FAR Part 121) operations using aircraft with at least 10 seats. The literature review also includes information concerning reliever and general aviation airports, which are not FAR Part 139 airports. Peer-reviewed literature in the field of airport mutual aid agreements is severely limited, but an aggressive search strategy found a number of pertinent documents. The search focused on finding the following information: 1. Definitions of mutual aid and mutual aid agreements 2. Categories and types of existing agreements, with types linked to an all-hazards approach 3. Operational scope of agreements 4. Nature and level of coordination and cooperation achieved 5. Nature and frequency of jurisdictional meetings held 6. Enabling legislation, existing, encouraged, or needed 7. Legal implications, especially regarding liability 8. Security issues (credentialing, badging, and access) 9. Funding implications (eligibility, restrictions) 10. Implications for equipment 11. Training implications for mutual aid 12. Relationship of documents to business continuity planning 13. Metrics and other performance measures used 14. Problems with airport mutual aid agreements. METHODOLOGY AND RESULTS The literature review search was conducted on both the open web (using Google.com) and the deep web (using ProQuest, EBSCO, LexisNexis, and LLIS). The search strategy sought general mutual aid agreements and airport mutual aid agree- ments. The various types of agreementsâletters of agreement, memoranda of agreement, memoranda of understanding, com- pacts, and emergency management poolsâwere also used as search terms. The 14 topics listed in the previous section were used to filter the results to produce suitable resources to illus- trate fundamental and specialized issues concerning mutual aid agreements. Definitions of Mutual Aid and Mutual Aid Agreements The FAAâs Advisory Circular (AC) 150/5200-31C incorporat- ing Change 2, Airport Emergency Plan, defines âmutual aidâ as âreciprocal assistance by emergency services under a pre- determined planâ (FAA 2009a, p. 256). The advisory circular does not define âmutual aid agreement,â but it does define one type of document, the memorandum of agreement, as âa writ- ten agreement between partiesâ (p. 256). It does not define letter of agreement or memorandum of understanding, both instruments which are sometimes used for mutual aid agree- ments. The FAA circular refers to the cooperative relationship that exists between the air traffic control tower and the airport operator, and relationships between the airport and local gov- ernmentsâ first responders. A good comprehensive definition of âmutual aid agree- mentâ is given by USLegal.com (2012): Mutual aid agreement means a written agreement between agencies, organizations, or jurisdictions to lend assistance across jurisdictional boundaries. It agrees to assist by furnishing personnel, equipment, and expertise in a specified manner at [a] requisite time. Prior to the seeking of [a] mutual aid agreement, an agency must first commit its own resources. Such agreements are executed when a disaster or a multiple alarm fire that exceeds the available local resources occurs. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), state, tribal and local governments and private nonprofit organizations frequently establish mutual aid agreements to provide emergency assistance to each other when disasters or emergencies occur. Mutual aid agreement provides for increased access to and fast delivery of critical resources during an emergency, professional solidarity in providing resources to affected communities. It also reassures the public that essential services will return quickly. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has recognized the importance and utility of mutual aid agree- ments to help local jurisdictions deal with emergencies and disasters that exceed their own response capabilities. Appen- dix C Sample 1 presents the basic template recommended but not required by FEMA, and most states and many counties have adopted it as the template for their plans. FAA AC 150/5200-31C specifically calls for all such rela- tionships to be defined in written agreements. Categories and Types of Existing Agreements, with Types Linked to an All-Hazards Approach The National Incident Management System (NIMS) is the U.S. national standard for the organization of all phases of chapter two LITERATURE REVIEW
6 all-hazards emergency management but is best known for its use in the response phase. The Incident Command System (ICS) provides the operational and administrative structure for executing emergency operations under NIMS, but NIMS provides the doctrine governing how the pieces fit together. Homeland Security Presidential Directive 5 (HSPD-5) estab- lished this national standard in 2003, and it was applied to airports by AC 150/5200-31C in 2009. NIMS and the cir- cular are both explicitly all-hazards in approach, but the AC contains a master list of emergency and disaster types that an airport must consider in its planning efforts, including mutual aid agreements. This list may be modified as a result of an airportâs risk or hazard analysis. Levi et al. (2008) discuss the all-hazards approach that has been introduced into the United States public health system. Currently, all-hazards mutual aid agreements are uncommon, as most agreements focus on a single hazard such as a struc- tural fire or criminal acts. Because most responses to critical incidents require more than one function, multiple agreements among multiple specialized agencies are needed (Goodman and Stier 2007; Pelicano 2012). In a study of mutual aid agreements, Bainbridge assessed the proliferation and effectiveness of mutual aid agreements within FEMA Region III. The study indicated that âmutual aid agreements are not properly developed/maintained for use in an all-hazards approach to community risk reductionâ (Bainbridge 2003, p. 6), creating not only gaps in response coverage, but also concern because of the apparent lack of services. The impression in the community left by the lack of recent agreements is that none of the agencies is responding effectively (Pelicano 2012). AC 150/5200-31C requires that applicable mutual aid agreements be listed and referenced in each incident-specific index of the airport emergency plan (AEP). Lastly, Appendix 7 of AC 150/5200-31C provides two sample mutual aid agree- ments, one between the FAA tower and the airport for aircraft alerts, and a generic mutual aid agreement between a publicly- owned airport and a municipality, county, or state agency. Leonard (1991) provides specifications and a model for a letter of emergency agreement between fire departments and airports for off-airport crashes. This model has a strong influence on airport practices, as Leonardâs book is a popular airport operations textbook: Typically, airports find their own models for mutual aid agree- ments, but some states and counties specify models, terms, and conditions; for example, Washington State (2011) provides spe- cific guidance for mutual aid agreements. Some communities even write the agreements into local ordinances, as does Sacra- mento County, California (1989). The Sacramento ordinance is still in effect. In addition to the two model mutual aid agreements pro- vided by the FAA in AC 150/5200-31C (see Appendix C), various state agencies and airport organizations provide sam- ple model agreements. For example, the Florida DOT Aviation Office (2012) provides Florida-specific adaptations of the two FAA templates. AC 150/5200-31C directs that AEPs should at least ref- erence any mutual aid agreements and that any mutual aid agreements should be included in training, drills, and exer- cises of the AEP. Washington State (2011) goes further and states that when mutual aid agreements are established, they must be integral components of AEPs. The FAA advisory recognizes that a mutual aid agreement with an outside agencyâe.g., the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) or a state fish and wildlife agencyâwill be needed for water rescue, but does not offer a sample mutual aid agreement. Two airports may enter into an agreement for mutual sup- port. For example, some airports in North Dakota have bilat- eral agreements with each other (City of Bismarck Municipal Airport and City of Fargo Municipal Airport 2011; City of Bismarck Municipal Airport and Grand Forks Regional Airport Authority 2011). The impetus for these agreements came from airports belonging to their state airport associa- tions, many members of which had been flooded in the past 10 years. The flooding led them to recognize that they might need one another to keep the airport up and running. How- ever, these agreements also provide for mutual aid of all types in emergencies. They are fully all-hazard and require the use of the ICS. (See Appendix D Sample 4 for the full text of FargoâBismarck agreement.) In addition to the basic airport-FAA control tower mutual aid agreement sample given in AC 150/5200-31C, specialized agreements with towers are sometimes made. Port Columbus International Airport has two such specialized agreements: (1) a letter of agreement among the FAA, Columbus Regional Airport Authority (CRAA), and Rural/Metro Corporation to establish procedures for emergency services on and in the vicinity of Port Columbus International Airport (FAA Columbus Air Traffic Control Tower, Columbus Regional Airport Authority & Rural/Metro Corporation 2007); and (2) a letter of agreement concerning security for the air traffic control tower (FAA, Columbus Regional Airport Authority & Port Columbus Airport Police 2010a). Rural/Metro, which provides emergency medical and ambulance services to Port Columbus International Airport, has its services extended to the FAA tower by provisions in the mutual aid agreement. San Francisco International Airport (SFO) belongs to the City and County of San Francisco but is physically located in San Mateo County. The airport has written agreements for emergency response with San Mateo County (2006). The most common mutual aid agreement provides for the assistance of a city fire department in case of a structural fire at the airport. Range Regional Airport exemplifies this sort of
7 agreement (ChisholmâHibbing Airport Authority & City of Hibbing 2010; see Appendix D Sample 5 for full text). Some mutual aid agreementsâmost likely the minorityâspell out cooperation in both directions, with airport fire assets includ- ing such specialized equipment as foam trucks being made available to another jurisdiction. An excellent example of a truly reciprocal agreement involves CRAA and the Colum- bus Fire Division for fire and emergency medical services (Columbia Regional Airport Authority & Columbus, Ohio, Fire Division 2008). Another good example is Baltimore/ Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI), which has mutual aid agreements for the airport to provide fire suppression support to surrounding communities (Mary- land DOT 2012). The BWI case is somewhat special because it is state-owned, which is rare except in Alaska and Hawaii. Private corporations may also enter into mutual aid agree- ments (Dunaway and Shaw 2010). A mutual aid agreement might be between an airport and a tenant industrial activity, and the agreement may be highly specific as to timing and level of services expected; for example, Chennault Interna- tional Airport in Lake Charles, Louisiana, has agreements with a local refinery and with an aircraft rebuilding facility (Chennault International Airport Authority 2010; Chennault International Airport Authority and Northrop Grumman Cor- poration 2010; see Appendix D Sample 6 for full text). Dallas-Ft. Worth International Airport (DFW) presents an array of mutual aid agreements, which may result from its unique ownership structure as an authority/corporation created by an agreement between the two cities. The airport has a classical one-on-one mutual aid agreement for fire emergencies between the airport and the city of Fort Worth (City of Fort Worth and Dallas-Ft. Worth International Air- port 2010). DFW has multilateral mutual aid agreements, one with all the municipalities in Dallas County (Dallas County Mutual Aid 2010), and another that makes it a member of the stateâs regional mutual aid system through the North Central Texas Council of Governments (DFW 2010). All of these agreements include fire suppression, but some are all-hazards agreements. DFW is also a member of the statewide Texas Public Works Response Team (Todd Haines, personal com- munication, April 7, 2012). The wording of all agreements follows the formula of âpersonnel and equipment as available,â which protects the ARFF Index (per FAR Part 139) of the airport. DFW may have greater freedom to enter into a wider variety of agreements, because it is as large as a small city and under Texas state law has the characteristics and powers of a local government. Similarly, SeattleâTacoma International Airport (SEA) has mutual aid agreements with all surrounding fire departments (Port of Seattle Fire Department 2012). One example of a stand-alone mutual aid agreement for emergency medical services exists between the Metropoli- tan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) and adjoining counties in Virginia under which MWAA provides emergency medical services to local residents. The agreement regulates charges but does not involve transfer of funds in either direc- tion between the MWAA and the counties (Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority 2006). In addition, ACRP Report 12: An Airport Guide for Regional Emergency Plan- ning for CBRNE Events, discusses the features desirable for incorporation in AEPs and mutual aid agreements for emer- gency medical services (Stambaugh et al. 2009, pp. 16â17). Airports often have mutual aid agreements with nearby police departments, either directly or through the jurisdiction that owns the airport. An example is the interlocal agreement for Fort Walton Beach Airport (VPS) (Fort Walton Beach City 2012). This proposed agreement would provide automatic response mutual aid among all jurisdictions in the county, including the airport. One example of a highly specialized mutual aid agreement is the one between the Delaware River and Bay Authority and the County of Cape May (2009). The agreement provides for use of Cape May Airport (WWD) as a logistics and staging area in case of emergency declared by the governor of New Jersey. A search of the popular media since Hurricane/Super Storm Sandy in October 2012 showed Cape May Airport involved in minor ways in emergency response and prepared- ness, but with no mention of the logistics and staging area being created. San Mateo County, California, has an agreement between ReidâHillview Airport and its pilotsâ association to handle transport of persons and high value cargo such as medicine or communications gear in a disaster (Santa Clara County Aviation Department 1966). Some counties have countywide mutual aid agreements in which airports are participants. As noted, DFW is a signatory and full participant in Dallas County Mutual Aid. Chicagoâs OâHare (ORD) and Midway (MDW) airports similarly par- ticipate in the Chicago area mutual aid compact (Ray Carrell, personal communication, April 2012). Multi-county mutual aid agreements are an extension of countywide agreements, as in the San Francisco Bay Area Regional Emergency Coordination Plan: Regional Trans- portation Coordination and Response Plan (URS n.d.). Operational Scope of Agreements All sources found in this literature review dealt only with the response phase of emergency management. None dealt with the application of mutual aid to the preparedness, mitigation, or recovery phases of emergency management. By their nature, mutual aid agreements are a preparedness activity (Smith 2008). The sources implied that mutual aid will apply to the first operational period of response, which is typically six to 12 hours (James Featherstone, personal communication, Dec. 9, 2010). On the other hand, the authors were not able to identify any sources that precluded the application of mutual aid agreements to preparedness, mitigation, or recovery.
8 Nature and Level of Coordination and Cooperation Achieved Currently, mutual aid agreements are often entered into with a handshake and are highly dependent upon the continued rela- tionship of those who made the agreement. Bainbridge (2003) suggests that a structured, far-reaching system should be put in place that would include non-governmental organizations, businesses, and volunteers, as âwritten mutual aid agreements are necessary for reimbursement under the policies of the fed- eral governmentâ (p. 27). His recommendations include stat- utory requirements at the state and federal levels for mutual aid agreements as a provision for federal funding. However, these reimbursement issues pertain to federal reimbursement under the Stafford Act (U.S. Congress, 1988 et seq.) and only apply to presidentially declared disasters, which may explain in part the general absence of written agreements. Bell (2008) discusses the critical nature of having mutual aid agreements before an actual disaster: âThe agreements are the difference between knowing the full extent of avail- able resources before a disaster strikes and trying to locate equipment and staff during the stress and pressure of an emer- gencyâ (p. 31). One useful source on mutual aid agreements is found in Smith (2010a), âAirport Disaster Preparedness in a Commu- nity Context,â presented at the 89th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board on January 12, 2010. This study looked at the range and vitality of mutual aid arrange- ments and joint emergency plans between major airports and community emergency response agencies. Two other small studies looked at related aspects of airport mutual aid agreements. âRegional Cooperation, Coordination, and Com- munication among Airports During Disastersâ (Smith 2010b), published in Transportation Research Report, Journal of the Transportation Research Board, No. 2177, examined the roles of all the emergency response partners involved at major airports (Miami International Airport, Boston Logan International Airport, and MinneapolisâSt. Paul Interna- tional Airport). Smith (2012a), The Roles of General Avia- tion Airports in Disaster Response: Final Report, examined the relationships between local emergency response agen- cies and GA airports in a sample of more than 300 public use airports, and found that overall, GA airports work very closely with their communities and may have mutual aid agreements, especially for fire and police services. Nature and Frequency of Jurisdictional Meetings Held In the literature review, the authors were not able to identify any sources that discussed the nature and frequency of juris- dictional meetings held in conjunction with the development or maintenance of mutual aid agreements beyond what is required in FAA AC 150/5200-31C. The advisory calls for all mutual aid agencies to be involved in the development of an AEP and for mutual aid agreements to be reviewed annually or as provided in each agreement. It also calls for close coor- dination of airport and community emergency preparedness and response plans using NIMS (FEMA 2008) and Compre- hensive Preparedness Guide 101, also called the State and Local Guide for All-Hazard Emergency Operations Planning (FEMA 2010), as the shared basis for mutual aid agreements. The FEMA Comprehensive Preparedness Guide requires fre- quent and recurring consultation in the planning and review phases among all stakeholders in emergency plans, but it does not specifically name mutual aid agreements. Enabling LegislationâExisting, Encouraged, or Needed The primary federal enabling legislation is the Stafford Act (as amended, including the Post-Katrina Emergency Reform Act), which sets out national policies and procedures for the coordination of all phases of emergency management. Since 2007, it has mandated an all-hazards and NIMS-based approach. It does not include provisions for liability cover- age, but it does regulate federal reimbursement for presiden- tially declared disasters. Many, but not all, states have statewide mutual aid pacts or pools for emergency management, including Arizona, Flor- ida (GainesvilleâAlachua County Regional Airport Authority 2001), and Tennessee (Tennessee 2004), which exemplifies the enabling legislation for such an agreement (Smith 2010). Root (n.d.) describes the full range of statewide mutual aid arrangements in California, and these arrangements include fire, law enforcement, and communications. The state of Ohio passed mutual aid legislation in early 2012, and Indi- ana passed legislation in 2011 (Pelicano 2012). Mississippi also has pending legislation to allow mutual aid agreements (Bonnie Wilson, personal communication, June 20, 2012). However, with the previously discussed exception of DFW, which is a full partner on its own, airports typically are not directly included in such arrangements but connect through the local jurisdiction (city or county) that owns the airport. States may have aviation-emergency management frame- works that set the context for mutual aid agreements, as in Washington Stateâs State and Regional Disaster Airline Plan (2006). A special example of a statewide mutual aid agreement is the Colorado Aviation Recovery Support Team, wherein air- ports help other airports and communities in Colorado recover from aviation disasters (Colorado Airport Operators Associa- tion 2009; IEM et al. 2012). Mutual aid agreements are more easily arranged between airports and government agencies, as both are covered by public laws that limit liability or provide liability protection to employees acting officially. Existing barriers make it difficult to engage valuable non-profit and volunteer organizations and businesses in any type of compact. Only 24 states have laws that would limit or reduce the liability for non-profits and
9 businesses that take a public role in response activities. Laws reducing liability for volunteers are faring better, as 42 states have enacted legislation to protect volunteers responding to a catastrophic event (Levi et al. 2008; Pelicano 2012). Legal Implications, Especially Regarding Liability State legislation enabling and regulating mutual aid agree- ments typically includes liability coverage. One example of such a law is the Florida Mutual Aid Act (Florida 2012): Any employee of any Florida law enforcement agency who ren- ders aid outside the employeeâs jurisdiction but inside this state pursuant to the written agreement entered under this part has the same powers, duties, rights, privileges, and immunities as if the employee was performing duties inside the employeeâs jurisdic- tion. Any employee rendering aid pursuant to an interstate mutual aid agreement entered under this part shall have such powers, duties, rights, privileges, and immunities as the parties agree are consistent with the laws of the jurisdictions involved and with the purposes for which such agreement was entered [para. 23.127(1)]. In other words, an employee assisting another jurisdiction is covered by the stateâs sovereign immunity law. Only half the states have legislation to enable mutual aid agreements (Pelicano 2012), and not all existing laws deal as explicitly with liability as does the Florida statute. Security Issues (Credentialing, Badging, and Access) ACRP Report 73: Airport-to-Airport Mutual Aid Programs deals extensively with the security issues of credentialing, badging, and access during mutual aid operations (IEM et al. 2012). The same concerns and solutions may be applied to mutual aid operations involving local agreements and local mutual aid partners. Some airports have dealt with these issues for local mutual aid agreements, but the wording is not detailed. Examples are Nashville (Tennessee) International Airport (2012), SarasotaâBradenton (Florida) Airport (2012), and Fair- banks (Alaska) International Airport (2012a). At Nashville, the airport police department manages badging and access. At SarasotaâBradenton, the operations department manages these issues. At Fairbanks, the fire department arranges for access in conjunction with the airport police. Review of the Fairbanks AEP (2012b) indicated that access control during a mutual aid response will apparently be handled by providing badged escorts to incoming units from mutual aid partners. Funding Implications (Eligibility, Restrictions) The position of the FAA vis-Ã -vis mutual aid agreements has been defined by two major documents: the FAA Program Guidance Letter 07-02-01, âARFF Equipment Stored Off- Site,â of August 20, 2007, and the FAA AC 150/5200-31C on emergency planning of 2009. Table AR1 of FAA Guidance Letter 07-02-01 outlines the Airport Improvement Program eligibility for ARFF equipment stored off-airport; the actual off-airport use of such equipment depends on FAA approval of airport mutual aid agreements. This guidance became effec- tive as a result of the purchase of ARFF equipment by smaller jurisdictions and their sharing the equipment with their airports. The funds for the equipment are drawn from the Aviation Trust Fund, and the FAA explicitly refuses to allow any airport to divert revenue or resources, so under this guidance letter, shar- ing an ARFF vehicle would not comply with grant assurances attached to all grants awards. Implications for Equipment With the updated AC 150/5200-31C on emergency planning (FAA 2009), the FAA took a far more proactive view of the airport-community relationship represented by airport mutual aid plans. It encouraged airport operators to involve local communities in the development of an AEP and in the use of collective resources for the mutual benefit of all parties. Mutual aid agreements often include inventories of spe- cialized equipment and even skilled personnel that may be available for mutual aid responses. An example of this is the multi-jurisdictional mutual aid agreement for aircraft emer- gencies at Fairbanks (2012b). Training Implications for Mutual Aid FAR Part 139 establishes certification and recertification requirements for commercial service airports, and these requirements include drills and exercises at least once a year. AC 150/5200-31C brings the airportâs mutual aid agreements and partners into these requirements. The most common sources of information regarding exer- cises and drills are the Internet, newspapers, or television news items about the participation of mutual aid partners in an air- portâs Part 139 recertification exercise, such as that at Colo- rado Springs Airport in 2003 (Hupp 2003), in which Peterson Air Force Base and other entities took part. Relationship of Documents to Business Continuity Planning The only source found that relates airport mutual aid to business continuity is ACRP Report 73: Airport-To-Airport Mutual Aid Programs (IEM Inc. et al. 2012), but it pertains to regional mutual aid organizations and is therefore outside the scope of this study. For non-airport examples, the nine universities in the University of Texas System have consoli- dated business continuity plans that incorporate mutual aid agreements for various specialized functions (University of Texas System 2009). The search effort appears to indicate a disconnect between mutual aid as a concept in emergency management and the field of business continuity planning.
10 Metrics and Other Performance Measures Used In the literature review, the authors were not able to identify published objective measures of the effectiveness of mutual aid agreements involving airports or of mutual aid agree- ments in general. Problems with Airport Mutual Aid Agreements Common problems that arise with mutual aid agreements involve politics, jurisdiction, money, liability, or command and control issues. For example, a disagreement occurred between the Lehigh Valley (Pennsylvania) International Air- port ARFF chief and the local fire chief at a fire scene on the border of the airport, with the final result being the cancel- lation of their agreement (Brahm 1999). A similar disagree- ment and ensuing lawsuit by a Florida sheriff have threatened the continued existence of the Fort Walton Beach interlocal agreement (McLaughlin 2012). Local governments some- times have trouble understanding the unique regulatory issues surrounding an airportâs imperative to maintain its ARFF functions (Los Angeles Mayorâs Blue Ribbon Panel 2011).