In this one hour webinar, part of the Hot Topics series, representatives from the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences share how their agency developed partnerships and protocols to handle mass fatalities.

Learning Objectives

  • List the components of mass fatality management and the primary agency responsible for coordinating each operational component.
  • Discuss the current challenges of the medicolegal system and their potential effects on mass fatality incident response.
  • Describe the differences between medicolegal and non-medicolegal cases and the implications for preparing and responding to varying types of mass fatality incidents, including natural and man-made disasters and epidemics.

Intended Audience

Local, state, and tribal public health professionals; emergency management staff


Jason Wiersema, PhD, D-ABFA, D-ABMDI, Director, Forensic Emergency Management, Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences

Allison Woody, MS, MEP, Preparedness Training and Exercise Coordinator for Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences

Discussion Questions

These questions are designed to further your thinking on the topic covered in this webinar. You may print and discuss them with colleagues and other members of your organization before or after watching this webinar.

  1. Has your jurisdiction developed a multidisciplinary mass fatality management plan that includes coordinating with the medicolegal authority?
  2. Has your jurisdiction developed a series of trainings and exercises to identify gaps and successes in your mass fatality incident plans?
  3. If not, what are the most significant challenges in developing these plans, trainings, and exercises, and how could a multidisciplinary team work through these challenges?


Photograph of a man's gloved hand with EMTs working in the background.
Air Date: 
Tuesday, September 23, 2014, 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm PDT
Emergency Preparedness & Disasters
1 hour
Hot Topics in Practice
Competency Domains: 
Community Dimensions of Practice Skills
Leadership and Systems Thinking Skills
Policy Development/Program Planning Skills