The Partnership for Community Safety: Strengthening America's Readiness is a coalition formed in 2001 to advocate for bolstering community readiness for biological, chemical and nuclear terrorism and other disasters. The group represents firefighters, paramedics, emergency and other physicians, hospital officials, medical education professionals, public health officials, nurses, and state regulatory agencies in the United States. Coalition members work to achieve a sustained level of federal support to ensure that all communities in the United States have the resources they need to manage threats associated with bioterrorism. Its plan is to focus public and legislative attention on the readiness of local communities to protect Americans from these attacks.
Communication Strategies: 

The Partnership will advocate for a comprehensive and sustained approach to community readiness, as laid out in the "Bioterrorism Preparedness Act of 2001" (sponsored by Senators Bill Frist and Ted Kennedy). This legislation is designed to guarantee an immediate and coordinated response by government agencies, fire services, law enforcement, and health care professionals to threats of bioterrorism.

In addition to working together to help shape national policy, the alliance promotes collaboration among its members to retool disaster plans and focus on the need to increase capacity for frontline responders to prepare for the challenges associated with terrorism. In addition, partners work to reduce duplication of effort and to develop a "bank" of best practices by exchanging ideas and highlighting model programmes. The Partnership also works to educate the public about local readiness issues.

The Partnership for Community Safety website is a key strategy. It features new approaches to community preparedness, educational materials, common safety goals for community leaders, links to individual member sites, and a press section. The site also details project strategies, which include:

  • Improving communications infrastructure by upgrading and modernising responder communication systems (cellular phone and wireless communication systems can become saturated during times of crisis, interfering with public safety communications).
  • Improving community-based planning by identifying and providing resources to supplement local health care systems. These resources, organisers say, should integrate the plans of all responders.
  • Increasing community capacity to deal with disasters - building adequate surge capacity to address the health care needs of large numbers of casualties.
  • Improving disease surveillance, disease reporting, and field laboratory identification systems - first, providing training so that clinicians are able to quickly detect, accurately diagnose, and effectively treat uncommon diseases. Second, improving the capacity of local and state public health departments, public health laboratories, and hospitals to engage in disease surveillance and disease reporting.
  • Protecting responders from the effects of biologic, chemical, and nuclear agents.
  • Increasing and enhancing training programmes, continuing education, and community drills for mass casualty incidents.

Development Issues

Conflict, Disaster planning, Partnership, Health.

Key Points: 

Partnership members say that the events of September 11 2001 and later anthrax incidents demonstrate the urgency for strengthening community preparedness plans to protect the public from acts of terrorism.

Partner Text: 

Coalition members include: American Academy of Pediatrics, American Ambulance Association, American College of Emergency Physicians, American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine, American Hospital Association, American Medical Association, American Organization of Nurse Executives, American Public Health Association, American Society for Radiology and Oncology, Association of American Medical Colleges, ComCARE Alliance, Ermergency Nurses Association, The Federation of State Medical Boards, International Association of Fire Chiefs, National Association of County and City Health Officials, National Association of EMS Physicians, National Association of Local Boards of Health, National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems, National Association of State EMS Directors, Visiting Nurse Associations of America.


Partnership for Community Safety website; press release dated December 11 2001 on the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) website; and Internal Medicine News, August 15 2003.