For Immediate Release - April 03, 2015

After Action Report for the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombings Released

FRAMINGHAM, MA – Today, a joint comprehensive, multi-jurisdictional report, which reviews the public safety, public health and medical response to the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombings, is being made available to the public.  The report, entitled the After Action Report for the Response to the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombings, is the product of a year-long process that evaluated preparation activities related to the 2013 Boston Marathon, and response and recovery activities related to the April 15, 2013 bombings and associated incidents which followed that week.  The report, which reflects an examination of documents and news reports, as well as interviews conducted with hundreds of officials from state and local law enforcement, fire services, emergency medical services, emergency management, public health, healthcare and race operations, details the best practices of and lessons learned by the numerous public safety, public health and medical organizations that played critical roles throughout the week.

In the months immediately following the 2013 bombings, representatives from key local and state public safety and public health agencies collaboratively formed a multi-jurisdictional Project Management Team to embark upon and oversee a comprehensive after-action process.  The Project Management Team was comprised of representatives from the City of Boston, the City of Cambridge, the Town of Watertown, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Transit Police Department, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the Massachusetts emergency Management Agency, the Massachusetts National Guard and the Massachusetts State Police. The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) contracted with TriData, the firm selected by the Project Management Team, to conduct this independent review.

With the exception of the post-bombings criminal investigation and intelligence sharing activities before and after the 2013 Boston Marathon, all aspects of the response to the bombings and the incidents that followed during the week were examined, including: public safety and medical support planning for the 2013 Boston Marathon; the immediate public safety, public health and medical response to the bombings and those injured; the search for, and apprehension of the bombing suspects in Watertown; and the recovery of the Back Bay and the community at large.  The 130-page report provides an overview of the incidents that occurred during the week of April 15, 2013; discusses the response activities of public safety, public health, emergency medical and healthcare communities; and discusses best practices, lessons learned, and areas needing improvement.  

Although the report is being is being publicly released almost two years after the bombings, its findings were shared with key stakeholders prior to the 2014 Boston Marathon, and most of the recommended corrective actions have been or continue to be addressed.  While the intention of the report was to provide important guidance to the numerous public safety, public health and healthcare agencies and organizations that were directly involved in the response to the Boston Marathon bombings, the report’s review of what happened in 2013, and its discussion of best practices and lessons learned, may assist other agencies and jurisdictions that plan for and manage public events, or may be called upon to respond to mass casualty incidents.

The After Action Report for the Response to the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombings is available on the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) website at  After Action Report for the Response to the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombings  pdf format of After Action Report for to the 2013 Boston Marathon
file size 10MB. Questions about specific findings and conclusions in the report should be directed to the appropriate involved agencies.  Questions about the after action review process may be directed to MEMA.

MEMA is the state agency charged with ensuring the state is prepared to withstand, respond to, and recover from all types of emergencies and disasters, including natural hazards, accidents, deliberate attacks, and technological and infrastructure failures. MEMA is committed to an all hazards approach to emergency management.  By building and sustaining effective partnerships with federal, state and local government agencies, and with the private sector - - individuals, families, non-profits, and businesses - - MEMA ensures the Commonwealth’s ability to rapidly recover from large and small disasters by assessing and mitigating threats and hazards, enhancing preparedness, coordinating response operations, and strengthening our capacity to rebuild and recover.

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