An Exploratory Study of Expertise and Inertia in Emergency Service Responses in a Counter-Terrorism Live Exercise

This project examines police and emergency service response during a counter terrorism live exercise, with a specific focus on expertise, team decision making, and decision command-level inertia.

Data were gathered through interviews and observations during a live exercise carried out by Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service (MFRS) in September 2016.

Research questions

  • What are the current strengths and weaknesses of responses to terrorist events (situation awareness, understanding of risk, communication with and between agencies)?
  • Which are the most effective methods for debriefing the general public and captured ‘terrorists’ during and immediately after an event to capture live intelligence?
  • What is the best way of communicating with casualties and ‘worried well’ during an incident?

Principal Investigator

Professor Laurence Alison


University of Liverpool, UK



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