It seems that some of the agencies that weren't able to communicate on scene probably shouldn't have been on scene. Everyone wants to go to "The Big One" even if aren't needed and will only screw up the operation.
That's not limited to police agencies. After the WTC towers were hit in 2001, EMS and fire agencies saddled up and drove to New York City even though they had no role in the disaster plan.
Even before that, when Avianca Flight 052 went down on Long Island in 1990, so many emergency vehicles responded to the single lane road that led to the crash site that no one could get in our out. That delayed evacuation of the injured to the point where helicopters were called in to evacuate some people. The Wikipedia article glosses over this part, but I attended a presentation on this and traffic control was cited as a major issue.
That's why the MSP locks down Logan very tightly anytime there is an incident on the runways.
Watertown was supposed to be a joint BPD, MSP, and FBI operation, but it ended up being much bigger. BPD SWAT, the MSP STOP Team and FBI SWAT out of Boston were there and would have been plenty of troops, but the number of agencies that showed up kept swelling.
It wasn't a radio problem, it was a lack of discipline problem.
I'll say that from my observation, the fire service is much more organized than Law Enforcement when it comes to major incidents. Even with a major disaster like the Brockton Hospital fire and evacuation, no one free lanced. Agencies from all over the state sent units and that included chiefs from several departments. Everyone worked within the ICS system as designed.
You can have the most sophisticated radio system on the planet and it will be useless if responders don't stick to the plan.
Lynskey 85 wrote: ↑24 Apr 2023 20:57
There certainly were examples of agencies that couldn't communicate with each other. Remember, there was law enforcement from all over New England that was part of this. Even the response from Central MA was mostly in the dark. Virtually no one in central MA at the time had BAPERN programmed in and even today, I'm not sure many if any do. Central MA has been and continues to be heavy on VHF, particularly south of Worcester. But at least now, CEMLEC has multi-band portables which I believe all have BAPREN channels in them, but they did not back then.
The CEMLEC Bearcat ended up in Watertown not because they knew what was going on, but because they saw a steady line of police vehicles responding so hopped in the parade and found themselves at ground zero.
We're peace loving people, we're not hunting trouble, but if trouble should find us, we'll stand up and fight.