northwest healthcare response network logo

Extreme Heat and Wildfire Smoke

As the temperatures rise, prepare for extreme heat and potentially smoky skies.

View Tip Sheets

Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

AWR-232 Mass Fatality Planning & Response for Rural Jurisdictions

October 4, 2018


This awareness-level course is designed to provide agencies in rural communities with basic knowledge should a mass fatality incident impact their jurisdiction. The Mass Fatalities for Rural Communities course serves as a training tool to provide rural communities with information to manage an actual mass-fatality response and to assist in the development of a mass-fatality response plan for their jurisdiction. The process of recovery, identification, and disposition of human remains following a mass fatality event will differ from the “normal” daily operations to which local authorities are accustomed. Understanding and appreciating these differences and the dynamics of a mass fatality will enable the rural communities to respond in an efficient manner and provide the assistance and guidance needed by the affected community.

Course Objectives:

  • Identify the significant differences in the death care process following a mass fatality event from that of normal, daily processes, and list possible mass fatality scenarios that may affect their communities.
  • Identify the roles recovery operations play in the identification process, the procedures for properly, safely, and respectfully recovering and documenting deceased human remains and associated personal effects, and the staff and equipment needed.
  • Describe morgue operations during a mass fatality response, the skill sets needed to work at various stations found in the morgue, the interaction between morgue and family assistance operations and the role recovery operations play in the overall identification process.
  • Describe the FAC?s role in the identification process; the components, staffing needs, and support services needed to facilitate FAC operations; and describe two models of a Family Assistance Center construct.
  • Describe some of the federal resources available following a mass fatality event, how to obtain these resources, and how they are coordinated by local authorities.
  • Examine the transition activities for releasing federal resources when response activities are such that they can be handled by local authorities.
  • Describe the importance of planning for a mass fatality response on the local level, the issues that must be considered in the planning process, the framework of a mass fatality response, and the on-going process of mass fatality planning.

Target audience:

This course has been developed for, but is not limited to:
  • Local and county law enforcement agencies
  • Public health managers and planners
  • Local and regional emergency management agencies
  • Emergency Medical Services (EMS)
  • Hospitals
  • Paid or volunteer emergency planners and managers
  • Personnel in local and/or county emergency operations centers (EOCs)

Course manager:
Brendan Cowan
Director of Emergency Management
San Juan Island EM
Phone: 360-370-7612


Friday Harbor Grange
152 1st Street
Friday Harbor, WA 98250 United States
+ Google Map