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Family assistance is defined as the provision of services and information to the family members of those killed and to those injured or otherwise impacted.

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Presentation on theme: "Family assistance is defined as the provision of services and information to the family members of those killed and to those injured or otherwise impacted."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Family assistance is defined as the provision of services and information to the family members of those killed and to those injured or otherwise impacted by the incident.

3 The Family Assistance Center provides a safe, protected, and supportive environment for families to gather while they await information on their missing, unaccounted for, or deceased loved ones. They offer a centralized location for providing updates and information to family members as information becomes available. Additionally, during most mass fatality situations, the Family Assistance Center will also be a central location for collecting information that will be pertinent to the medical examiner or coroner in facilitation of the identification of victims.

4 The Family Assistance Center provides: A private and secure place for families to gather, receive information about the response and recovery, and to grieve Protect families from media and curiosity seekers Facilitate information sharing with hospitals to support family reunification with the injured Address family informational, psychological, spiritual, medical and logistical needs Centralize and coordinate missing person inquiries Collect ante mortem information on the missing or known deceased Facilitate information exchange between the Medical Examiner/Coroners Office and families Provide death notifications and the release of human remains for final disposition

5 Multiple partners you will find in a FAC Local or state health jurisdiction Local or state Medical Examiner/Coroner Emergency Management Law enforcement (including FBI) Public and private mental health providers Hospitals Emergency medical services Spiritual care providers American Red Cross Salvation Army Information technology provider (IT support) Airlines Local military National Transportation Safety Board

6 Family Assistance Act In 1996 the Aviation Disaster Family Assistance Act was enacted following several major aviation accidents in which carriers, local responders, and federal agencies did not provide an effective coordinated effort to meet the needs of the family members about an accident, the handling of manifests, the training of support personnel, the management of personal effects, and the coordination of memorials.

7 Planning for an FAC Eight to ten family members of loved ones will arrive or need assistance for each potential victim Not all family members will come to the FAC. Services need to be available virtually to support and provide information to those who are not physically on site at the FAC The FAC should be operational, at least with basic services, within 24 hours after the event A family reception center may be needed to provide a place for families to convene until a FAC is established. This may occur at a hospital, airport, or other community site Victim identification may take multiple days, weeks, months or a year or more depending on the nature of the incident Both mental health and spiritual care resources should be available at the FAC Responding to a mass-casualty or mass-fatality incident can be overwhelming and lead to traumatic stress. Support for responders and staff at the FAC will be essential

8 The Family Assistance Center Team (FACT) is now known as The Victim Information Center (VIC) Team. This team consists of DMORT personnel who are specially trained and equipped to assist in ante mortem data collection by interviewing and interfacing with the victims families.

9 The VIC is usually staffed with professionals consisting of: Mortuary Officers Medical/Legal Death Investigators Administrative Staff Computer/internet Specialists Mental/Behavioral Health Specialists Forensic Scientists

10 The VIC should be placed at a location not directly associated with the disaster site or temporary morgue. The Center should consist of the following: Adequate space for all agencies to function Adequate space for conducting private or multi-family briefings Check in/out point for family members Identification badges & security procedures Private rooms for consultation and interviews Multiple hard telephone lines Restrooms Office supplies Fax machines/copying machines Security personnel Culturally appropriate food and beverages Television or radio for latest news updates Office equipment, desks, chairs, etc. Medical personnel Multiple electrical outlets

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12 FAMILY /SURVIVOR BRIEFINGS The focus of briefings is on providing official information on search, rescue/recovery, victim identification, and other activities to include investigation to the extent possible. Absent families should be able to join briefings via a telephone conference bridge or conference call. A typical briefing may cover: Opening, safety orientation(evacuation instructions), introduction of speakers, recap of critical information, agenda Status of rescue and recovery operations Status of personal effects management Assistance resources update (crisis counseling, child care, legal services, etc.) Planned events (incident site visit, memorial service) Closing: wrap up, location and time of next briefing

13 INCIDENT SITE VISIT/WRECKAGE VIEWING Site visit should not be scheduled until the site is safe and human remains and clearly distinguishable personal effects are either removed or are not visible from the viewing area Prior to the visit: Families should be briefed about what the expect How long they will be at the site What limitations may be in place ( e.g. no photography) Transportation should be provided for the entire group A brief memorial may be held at the site to include a place for families to leave tributes and flowers Should be staffed by crisis intervention specialists, clergy, and medical support

14 VICTIM IDENTIFICATION AND RETURN OF REMAINS Families of the missing and deceased will be interviewed at the FAC by specialists to gather ante mortem information to assist in the identification. The information collected during the ante mortem interview is broadly organized into three categories: Demographic data used to complete the death certificate Victim information (i.e. victims biological profile/physical description, description of personal effects Record leads (i.e. medical, dental and fingerprint DNA reference samples may be collected during the ante mortem interview if the family present are genealogically appropriate

15 VICTIM IDENTIFICATION PROFILE FORM The mission is to gather ante mortem data which can be used by Forensic Specialists in the morgue to identify the deceased so they can be reunited with the families. The victims identification data is acquired by interviews with family members, either face-to-face or by telephone. During the interview process, Victim Identification Profile(VIP) questionnaire forms are used to collect detailed ante mortem information

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25 Korean Airlines Flight 801 August 1997

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35 Hurricane Floyd 1999 Tarboro, NC

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39 Alaska Airlines Flight 261 January 2000 Oxnard, CA

40 United Flight 93 Shanksville, PA 9/11/2011

41 American Airlines Flight Queens, NY

42 Rhode Island Night Club Fire February 2003 West Warwick, RI


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