What makes emergency response work differently? What does it take to be successful? Here's what those in the field say.
"Every member of the project team must be committed to getting the work done in a short time frame. Without that total commitment, it's difficult for an emergency response project to be successful. Good communication is also imperative — not just among the owner, engineer and contractor, but also with regulatory agencies and the press. Word travels incredibly fast when an emergency situation happens. It's essential to have a plan in place that outlines who calls whom so the word gets out quickly to all key parties."
— Kevin Eisenbeis, PE
Director of Bridges
Burns & McDonnell
"It's important to know ahead of time who will be in charge, what the chain of command will be, and what resources you will call on for a variety of different scenarios. These projects have lots of different tentacles, and the more you know and plan upfront, the better you can manage them."
— Ed Pack
Senior Project Manager
Burns & McDonnell
"Before an emergency takes place, it's important to figure out who will be in charge and what they can do to respond. In MODOT's case, I know that when a bridge is damaged and lives are at risk, I am empowered to call and hire a consultant and contractor on the spot. You also need to be sure that you have access to the expertise you need. That's why it's critical to have relationships in place so that you can call someone at home after hours to ask for their help. It's equally important to know that they, too, are empowered to commit to a project on the basis of a phone call."
— Dennis Heckman
State Bridge Engineer
Missouri Department of Transportation
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