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Justice Institute of British Columbia, School of Public Safety
After-action reviews have been in use for over 40 years, first by the US Military, and then adopted by many organizations or agencies to improve the learning capabilities of emergency responders to reflect, act and learn in real time. The after-action review is known by many different names and may actually be a tool that is under-utilized to convey important lessons learned as it appears that many recommendations are either being repeated or modified in the next event as they have not been institutionalized. After-action reviews are utilized by many organizations in emergency management as a way to promote a lessons-learned approach to promote organizational learning. In the realm of emergency management and preparedness the usage of after-action reviews is a structured review of the following: 1) what went well? 2) What did not go well? 3) Where are the gaps? and 4) what can be done differently next time to improve performance? This paper will examine how after-action reviews are conducted following disasters to ensure that lessons-learned and the responses to real-incidents or exercises are implemented to minimize avoidable deaths or negative economic and social consequences.
after-action reviews; after-action reports; emergency management; disaster preparedness; lessons learned
Bachelor of Emergency & Security Management Studies (BESMS)