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Exploring the dynamics


applying for grants. A big city EM coordinator pointed out the


The new requirement for most grants, specifically those

that are issued by any emergency management or

homeland security agency, is a partnership. So, often

times we will collaborate in the region to go after a

grant, such as our Urban Area Security Initiatives, the

UASI grant, and the metropolitan medical response

system grant. (ID15-2)

Seeking resources and support, especially physical

resources and human resources, is another way to explain

collaboration among local governments. Several city and county

EM directors mentioned that they collaborate with each other

on physical resources (i.e., generators or vehicles) or personnel

support (i.e., firefighters or law enforcement officers) during a

disaster (ID8, ID9, & ID13). This resource-searching endeavor

can be particularly important for local governments with a small

population. Although a small county may employ a self-

sufficient strategy to operate its EM and encourage its EM

professionals to fulfill multi-functional duties, an EM agency in

a small county or city can usually only handle daily EM tasks.

When an emergency happens, a small local government

generally needs to request assistance through a mutual aid

system with other counties or municipalities which possess

adequate resources.

A local government can be a resource-seeker as well as a

resource-provider in collaboration. The interviewees mentioned

that a large county or big city is often requested by other small

local governments to provide assistance (ID10 & ID14). In the

same region, a larger county usually possesses more resources

and have more employees; therefore, it is often viewed as the

resource-provider to assist a small county. Similarly, in a county,

the big city also plays the part of a big brother and partner with

other municipalities. A big city may study the needs of