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April 19, 1995: Twenty years ago, 9-1-1 Magazine covered the Oklahoma City bombing aftermath from the perspective of the 9-1-1 dispatchers who were working that morning, from the report of the first (of eleven) FEMA Urban Search & Rescue Task Forces to respond to begin rescue operations, and from the perspective of critical incident stress management for responders.
Members of the Los Angeles County Fire Department Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Task Force, including county firefighters and civilian physicians, canine search specialists and structural engineers who served for ten days in Oklahoma, found that participating in their departmentâ€™s well-orchestrated Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) program provided them with a clear awareness of the impact of traumatic exposure, strengthening their ability to heal the heartache.
This morning had started for EMSA/AMR headquarters with anxiety. An arson fire had been set in a storage garage of our building the previous evening. Two days earlier a burglary had been reported in the building. A comment had been made: "What's next, a bomb?" Our building is five blocks from ground zero. When the blast occurred I thought, "My God, they did it! They have blown up our building!" It only took a few seconds to realize that our building was not the blast sight. The blast...
The April 19 shift began like any normal shift. The daily station audio and radio tests were done. We received a few EMS calls and dispatched companies for first-aid. Everything changed at 9:02 AM. Our office is located six blocks west of the incident. Almost immediately, all the phones were ringing. Approximately 98% of the phone calls we were receiving were from automatic alarm companies. The explosion set off alarms as far away as 16 miles.
I was in a meeting with another supervisor and our 9-1-1 coordinator, a police lieutenant). At 9:02 AM a dispatcher paged on our in-house phone system for a supervisor to come to the operations floor. Immediately I left the meeting and walked the few feet to the operations floor where I was told that there had been an explosion downtown...
The bombing of the Federal Building on Oklahoma City set into motion a tremendous emergency response, from the local public safety crews to federal emergency management personnel, including Urban Search And Rescue (USAR) teams from across the nation. The first USAR team to arrive in Oklahoma City was that of the Phoenix, Arizona, Fire Department.
The attacks and subsequent loss of responders helped to once again elevate the public's respect of the entire Fire Service. But with great respect comes great responsibility and five years later some agencies have found that the greater the height, the greater the fall as the "mileage" gained after 9/11 has come back to haunt them in many ways never imagined.
Ian Clemens, co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of IDV Solutions, LLC, has authored a new white paper and will host a webinar on the 7 Principles of Highly Effective Command Centers.
During Hurricane Sandy, more than 20+ million tweets were posted about the disaster. iRevolutions calculates that "Even if only 0.001% of these tweets were useful, and only half of these were accurate, this would still mean over 1,000 real-time and informative tweets, or some 15,000 words. That is the equivalent of a 25-page, single-space document exclusively composed of fully relevant, actionable intelligence.”
I was asked by 9-1-1 Magazine Editor Randall Larson to express a few thoughts on the events of 9/11, and how we've changed, ten years later. I'd given the request quite a bit of thought; attempting to adequately describe where we stand today, a decade after the Twin Towers fell, appeared at first to be a fool's errand... like Shrek's life, 9/11 is really complicated, having dozens of 'layers,' depending on where you stood that day.
For everyone of us who watched the towers fall and understood the loss not in terms of concrete and steel, but in the content of lockers to be carefully gathered and delivered to loved ones, and of roll calls to which there would never be an answer there will always be the question "have we done enough?"
AccuWeather Providing Comprehensive Weather Coverage and Support for Pope Francis' Visit to the U.S.
AccuWeather, Inc., a leader in weather information and digital media, is an integral part of Pope Francisâ€™ first trip to the U.S., a six-day visit through Washington, D.C., New York City, and Philadelphia between September 22 and September 27.
In the five-plus years since the 2010 Haitian earthquake decimated much of Port-au-Princeâ€™s already fragile healthcare system, the nation has been making a concerted effort to implement a formal emergency medical services (EMS) system...Despite all the effort and assistance, not a lot of progress is being made.
The Department of Homeland Security DHS and other government agencies recognize September as National Emergency Preparedness Month, encouraging all communities and organizations to plan ahead for crisis management. AmpliVox Sound Systems supports this initiative with recommendations for affordable, versatile sound systems that improve communication in the wake of any type of disaster.
To help communicate flood risk and help citizens take mitigation action, the Atkins FloodMap Mobile smart phone app is the most comprehensive in its class for users to understand their personal risk exposure and how to get help. The app provides flood risk information on demand based on the user’s location or entered address. It also offers an individual risk report customized for that address, which can be emailed and shared.
California-Based Mobile Command Vehicle Rally Giving Insight to Emergency & Disaster Management in Japan
The Northern California Mobile Command Center Rally is a showcase for mobile command and communications vehicles of all types throughout northern California. A growing connection between this event and developments in mobile communications vehicles in Japan have been undertaken with the support of Hitoshi Igarashi and MCC Rally staff members Chuck Berdan, Donald Stabler, and Randall D. Larson.
The Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) recently passed a stringent year-long reaccreditation process that allows its emergency responder students to earn continuing education credits for most of the courses they take at the CDP.
As technology continues to evolve, especially in the emergency communication industry, new technologies are replacing, or being integrated with, traditional communication and notification tools to enhance overall systems. Learning from real-life examples, including an emergency such as Hurricane Sandy and the major transformation of Hawaii's in-progress communication infrastructure project, emergency managers can continue to learn and better navigate through the evolving landscape.
The Minooka, Illinois, Fire Protection District, which operates across this far-southwest Chicago suburb, is adopting the CommandScope incident pre-plan program to assist in saving lives and property in cases of emergencies. CommandScope, developed by Chicago-based RealView, LLC, is a pre-plan technology that provides first responders with critical knowledge of buildings, the property and the occupants inside.
One of Chicago's most historic buildings is being electronically pre-planned as Roosevelt University, located in the South Loop, implements RealView LLC's CommandScope technology across its campus. The Auditorium Building and Auditorium Theatre are nationally-designated landmarks and two of five buildings whose data is being entered into the program that provides first responders critical property and occupant information both en route and onsite.
September is National Preparedness Month and CMC Government Supply would like to encourage everyone to get involved with their local Community Emergency Response Team programs (CERT). CERT educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations.
Colorado Emergency Preparedness Partnership and FEMA to hold Meeting on wildfire & flooding on February 6th
This first ever Northern Colorado joint meeting will focus on the recent wildfires and flooding experienced in the state; the challenges that were encountered as well as the hurdles that remain as part of the long-term recovery process.
Colorado Emergency Preparedness Partnership Upcoming Meeting: Protect and Sustain Your Organization During and After a Disaster
Colorado has experienced an unusually high number of large-scale natural and man-made disasters and emergencies over the past two years including the Aurora Theater shootings, wildfires and floods. It is vital that businesses, agencies, non-profits and other organizations prepare for the unknown. The theme of the June CEPP Western Slope meeting is "Protecting and Sustaining Your Organization During and After a Disaster." Expert panelists will discuss best practices and available resources to...
By identifying the possible things that can create emergency situations to our voice, data, and video pathways we can attempt to find ways to plan for or respond to them... The 2004 hurricane season in Florida and more recently the February 2, 2007 tornado event in Lake County (Groundhog Day Tornadoes) plainly evidenced the need for comprehensive analysis of potential emergencies and how they can or might affect our communications pathways and how we can respond to them.
Recently, Motorola Solutions had an opportunity to speak with two of our customers who were on the front lines of very different natural disasters that grabbed headlines this year. We wanted to hear their stories first-hand to ensure that we are meeting the current demands of first responders throughout the country, as well as anticipating their needs in coming years.
With a consistent schedule of high-profile events, including Super Bowl LI in Houston, Texas, the Harris County Sheriff's Office, (HCSO)... recognized the need to dramatically update their communications infrastructure... Broadband Antenna Tracking Systems (BATS) provided an adaptive microwave network utilizing multiple BATS BTS-50 and DVM-50X antenna systems, which were configured to deliver data and communications to operators in the Harris County Sheriff's Office Mobile Command Unit.
CoreLogic Introduces Natural Hazard & Parcel Data Product to Improve Local Emergency Planning & Response Efforts
CoreLogic. a leading provider of information, analytics and business services, has introduced a new offering that will help emergency responders and local governments improve their emergency planning, preparedness and response efforts in the event of a natural hazard. The new offering from CoreLogic bundles the company's detailed natural hazard geospatial data, risk models and comprehensive parcel database to provide city and county officials a more accurate picture of potential hazard...
Though 2011 represented a record-breaking year with regard to the number of disasters, the American public remains largely unaware of both their local alerting processes and their community's emergency notification capabilities. Even more alarming, many citizens approach the subject of disaster warnings and personal emergency preparedness with attitudes that reflect unacceptable levels of complacency, indifference and, in far too many cases, what can only be described as outright apathy.
Although it is best known for providing supplies and equipment to U.S. service members around the globe, the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) brings many capabilities and partnerships to assist local public safety agencies in emergencies and relief efforts in the U.S.
As large parts of the nation battle storms of epic proportions, local, state and federal governments, emergency responders and businesses are moving into emergency response mode relying on some of the most powerful and reliable and proven technology available today. Allen Schaeffer, the Executive Director of the Diesel Technology Forum, issued the following statement on diesel's vital role in the United States' emergency preparedness for this storm system.
Disaster Management: Controlling Rumors On Social Media Is Crucial During A Disaster Or Terrorist Attack
A study on the use of social media in three major incidents revealed that Twitter is emerging as the dominant social reporting tool to report eye-witness accounts and share information on disasters... But when it is the online community who are creating and exchanging the news rather than official news channels, this can not only exaggerate the unfolding situation, but also unintentionally turn it into misinformation, diverting attention from the real problems.
Coastal storms like Hurricane Sandy aren't new, but what is new are the stakes. Today we have more development and people living on our coast. We also now face an unpredictable climate change and sea level rise which could further compound coastal flooding. One of the largest U.S. Army Corps of Engineers studies ever undertaken will now look at ways to safeguard communities in the New York and New Jersey Metropolitan region from future hurricanes. A multi-agency team will work with...
According to Alameda County, California, Urban Shield is "a national model, full-scale exercise, designed to assess and validate the speed, effectiveness and efficiency of capabilities, as well as test the adequacy of regional policies, plans, procedures and protocols" (Urban Shield, 2013). Urban Shield events require hundreds of volunteers, to portray victims in a variety of disaster scenarios. When possible local residents are used and that is how I got involved with the Austin, Texas...
Drones may not be a novelty in the skies anymore, but the technology is taking off with a higher purpose. Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee has been researching the use of drones in case of emergencies and discovered the unmanned aerial systems (UAS) could cut response times.
In view of the recent announcement of an Ebola case identified in Texas, as a reminder we are resending the following previously developed and distributed guidance and checklist. These documents were updated on the evening of October 1. - Laurie Flaherty, Coordinator, National 911 Program, US DOT / NHTSA Office of EMS
One of the most important things for emergency telecommunicators to do is to truly understand their jurisdiction and what critical infrastructure, symbolic targets, and other unique features exist and how the loss or disruption of those facilities or events will impact emergency responders and the community. Understanding community threats prior to an emergency is critical to not just the success of the response, but also the life safety of the occupants and emergency responders.
EmergencyLink, the free emergency ID network, has announced its first government partnership to provide an entire U.S. county with state-of-the-art emergency medical services. Butler County Emergency Medical Service (EMS) in Kansas has implemented EmergencyLink to improve the quality of information first responders have and better prepare its 65,000 residents for emergency situations.
Enbridge Inc. and Midcoast Energy Partners, L.P. have announced the successful launch of an online pipeline emergency training program for 9-1-1 center personnel serving areas along Enbridge's onshore pipeline systems throughout the United States and Canada, including the Vector Pipeline system operated by Enbridge. The training was developed in partnership with the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) and includes material from a NENA standard and Pipeline Emergencies
The popularity of SMS, social media and other internet messaging mediums have substantially expanded opportunities to manage emergency events. This is evident in the rapid development of interoperable, network-based, multi-device communications systems... Though new technologies and messaging formats broaden the overall reach of crisis communications in both natural and man-made disasters, they also present inherent challenges...
The Federal Aviation Administration is launching a new public service announcement to let people know the airspace around Leviâ€™s Stadium is a No Drone Zone during the Super Bowl on Sunday, Feb. 7.
As we approach the first anniversary of the day that forever changed our lives, the FDNY still is in a world of hurt. Well documented are the experiences of the firefighters and chiefs on duty that day. Not so well documented is what has happened to us inside the communications office, and inside our minds.
Federal Police of Brazil rely on Tetrapol technology from Airbus Defence and Space to guard the Olympic Games 2016
To protect the Olympic Games 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Airbus Defence and Space has equipped the Brazilian Federal Police with radio communication means based on Tetrapol technology. The existing network in Rio de Janeiro implemented by Airbus Defence and Space has complete coverage in all crucial locations, including the main venues, such as Maracana and the Olympic village, the airports and the main routes of the city.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved Omnilert's products as IPAWS alert originators. FEMA-approved organizations can now access the Integrated Public Alert & Warning System (IPAWS) through Omnilert's products e2Campus and Amerilert to broadcast alerts over the Emergency Alert System (EAS), Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA), and other systems, in addition to the client's own subscriber base and endpoints within their Omnilert account.
FEMA Disaster Workshop Brings Tribal Leaders to the Bay Area to Prepare for, Respond to, Recover from Catastrophic Events
Nearly 200 tribal leaders, emergency managers, first responders and other disaster preparedness officials, representing more than 60 tribal governments are meeting this week in Oakland (CA) with Federal Emergency Management Agency officials , to discuss how to jointly prepare for, respond to and recover from the next catastrophic disaster that could strike tribal communities with or without warning in California, Arizona or Nevada.
FEMA Invests $100 Million in Post-Tsunami Disaster Relief & Emergency Preparedness Improvements for American Samoa
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has awarded nearly $100 Million dollars in Post-Tsunami improvements to American Samoa for lifesaving emergency management systems that include an early warning siren system, 9-1-1 emergency call center, and the completion of a formal tsunami hazard plan that proved instrumental in helping the island achieve the coveted status of TsunamiReady.
The FEMA Region 9 office, in Oakland, CA has established an El NiĂ±o task force charged with preparing the regional office and its partners for the impacts of El NiĂ±o. Last week, this office Office released its Severe El Nino Disaster Response Plan and will convene a regional interagency steering committee meeting in Northern California to exercise the plan.
The National Planning System provides a unified approach and common terminology to support the implementation of the National Preparedness System through plans that support an all threats and hazards approach to preparedness. These plans - whether strategic, operational, or tactical - enable the whole community to build, sustain, and deliver the core capabilities identified in the National Preparedness Goal.
FEMA, Arizona focus on Emerging Trends in Emergency Management, Collaboration with Public, Private Sector Partners when faced with Large Scale Disasters
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in concert with the Arizona Division of Emergency Management will host the third annual FEMA Region IX Public-Private Sector Leadership Conference on Feb. 19, 2014 in Phoenix, Ariz. The theme of this year's symposium is "Perception vs. Reality."
Rave Mobile Safety, a trusted software partner for campus and public safety, has announced the first statewide deployment of SmartPrepare in Arkansas. The rapidly growing service allows citizens to create free, secure Safety Profiles online that contain vital details about their household. Public safety officials can quickly leverage the data in SmartPrepare to gain greater insight into their communities and identify potential challenges...
With huge crowds expected to descend on New Orleans for Mardi Gras and Super Bowl XLVII this winter, public safety and public health officials are deploying FirstWatch Real-Time Situational Awareness to make sure they have up-to-the minute information on potential safety threats.
The city of Fort Worth, Texas, the 17th largest city in the United States, purchased, configured, trained and successfully deployed WebEOC emergency management software from ESi in three-and-a-half months, just in time for the 2011 Super Bowl and an unexpected snow and ice storm in the days leading up to the big event. On January 30, only a week prior to "Super Week," the city also opened the doors to a brand-new emergency operations center.
Large assembly events like Burning Man and Lollopalooza are a soft target for incidents triggered by accident or on purpose. These events need to be incident preplanned so first responders can react with knowledge, saving lives and property...
As the Indian Ocean tsunami wiped out everything in its path, a worldwide broadcast for help triggered an international amateur radio response to lend its own unique form of assistance. Ham Radio operators throughout the region immediately began to report on the destruction around them and coordinate help and assistance for the disaster area. In addition, amateur operators utilized radio equipment that would assist on land, at sea, and from space.
The devastation in Southeast Asia has graphically demonstrated one thing: tsunami dangers are real. Unfortunately, it has taken a disaster of that magnitude to make the American public aware of that fact. "Before that, you'd mention tsunami and people would snicker," said Gloria Morrison, Emergency Services Coordinator for the City of Huntington Beach, California. "Now people are paying closer attention."
In the latest installment of From the Chair, Paul pays tribute to the dispatchers working in the Newtown (CT) Emergency Communications Center on the day of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. He goes on to discuss how they were able to control the chaos of the active shooter incident, and still maintain the order and normal function of their center. He concludes with a warning that what the Newtown dispatchers did would have been impossible without careful preparation and planning...
German Federal Police Select Intergraph Planning & Response for emergency preparedness & response operations
German Federal Police, one of Europeâ€™s largest police forces, has selected Intergraph Planning & Response to manage planned and unplanned major events. The software integrates seamlessly with the agencyâ€™s existing Intergraph computer-aided dispatch (I/CAD) suite and facilitates effective support and analysis for emergency preparedness and response operations.
Last week, Cal EMA and FEMA Region IX hosted the Golden Guardian 2013 Joint Action Planning Training Workshop at Cal EMA Headquarters in Sacramento. This workshop provided an action plan that will be used for the Golden Guardian 2013 Functional Exercise being held May 15, 2013.
Harris County (TX) Citizen Corps is celebrating its 10th Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Rodeo Round-up on Saturday, February 13th. CERT volunteers from around the state will test their skills in medical operations, search and rescue, fire suppression, incident command, emergency preparedness and hazmat recognition.
In 2015, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office began the buildout of a unique, one of a kind mobile command vehicle to be used in support of Super Bowl LI in Houston, TX February 5, 2017. The platform for this unit was a 2005 53’ command trailer that was used as a mobile Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) until it’s decommission in 2014.
Five Years Later: What has happened since September 11, 2001 to instill confidence in homeland security for America? Cosmetic changes, visible security enhancements in certain places, and booming business for government bureaucracy. It is still the same bureaucracy that left civilian targets vulnerable to terrorist attacks in the first place, according to Congressional investigators.
Natural disasters are out of the reach and influence of human beings. However, a lot can be done to minimize loss of lives. Artificial intelligence is one viable option that can potentially prevent massive loss of lives while at the same time make rescue efforts easy and efficient.
On the 10-year anniversary of the deadly December 26, 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, coastal communities in the U.S. are significantly better prepared for tsunamis than they have been at any time in the past. Tsunami preparedness programs at the State, Territory, and Commonwealth level have worked through the Western States Seismic Policy Council (WSSPC) and the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program (NTHMP) to improve tsunami preparedness at a local level.
In October 2012, Hurricane Sandy made history as the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of that year’s Atlantic hurricane season... The day Sandy hit, nearly 20,000 calls were received every hour (the NYC 9-1-1 system typically processes about 30,000 emergency requests for assistance - per day). The Intrado Emergency Call Relay Center (ECRC) took the calls, found out exactly where the callers were, determined the nature of the emergencies and redirected the calls to the
All local governments - and especially their first responders and emergency management personnel - face major challenges when dealing with "black swan" events such as ice storms in the South, terrorist bombs at marathons, random shootings in schools and cyber attacks just about anywhere. No city or state has the resources to adequately protect their citizens against all possible hazards in our modern, 21st century threat environment.
The Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS), a nationally accredited department located in Maryland, has implemented the CommandScope All Hazard Pre-Incident Plan program to help protect nearly 300,000 residents in 25 communities. CommandScope gives first responders access to critical pre-plan information, both on-site and en route on their Mobile Data Computers, which includes maps, photographs, utility shutoff locations, floor plans, fire protection systems, hazardous...
As evidenced during and after Superstorm Sandy, satellite networks played a major role in ensuring continuity of communications, keeping emergency responders, businesses and people connected when terrestrial services were disrupted or unavailable. First responders and public safety managers experienced first-hand the critical need to communicate during a crisis to effectively respond and manage field resources, including organizations assisting with recovery efforts. Government leaders in...
Fire Chief Rhoda Mae Kerr, president and chair of the board of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), testified Feb. 2nd before the U.S. Senate that the tactics deployed by terrorists have evolved since 9/11 and local first responders now must be prepared for a variety of incidents.
There are 16 national Type 1 Incident Management Teams (IMTs) across the country. Though they mostly deal with wildland fire, they're also dispatched for non-fire incidents such as floods, earthquakes, and hurricanes. One of FEMA's 12 emergency support functions is firefighting, and under ESF-4 the teams can be activated from the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) in Boise, Idaho. The teams are prepared to use the Incident Command System (ICS) to handle just about any situation. But no...
The Bouches-du-RhĂ´ne Fire & Rescue Department (SDIS 13) chose Agelec to design and integrate two new video walls in their emergency response center, in order to monitor ongoing interventions and operations across this largely urban area of France. SDIS 13 now relies on Matrox Mura MPX cards from Matrox Graphics...
Alabama emergency management officials used the Incident Command System in responding to the April 27 outbreak of storms and tornadoes that devastated many communities. On that day, 62 tornadoes swept through the state. All 67 Alabama counties have participated in ICS training, according to the Alabama Emergency Management Agency. More than 70 emergency managers from Alabama have attended the ICS course at EMI in the last five years and many more have been trained in classes held in Mobile,...
Industry Council to Host Forum on Cyber Security for Emergency Communications: Forms New Committee to Tackle Issues
The Industry Council for Emergency Response Technologies (iCERT) has announced plans to host a national forum on Cyber Security for Emergency Communications on March 4, 2015, along with the formation of its new Committee created to address these critical issues.
For public safety and disaster management responders, Iridium GO! is the perfect tool for the fast-moving assessment teams that arrive in the first stage of disaster relief or in emergency situations. Assessment requires standard form submission detailing local conditions, coupled with pictures of the emergency/disaster zone. Form submission is an easy app to design and photo compression is already built-in.
LASD Announces Innovative Eyewitness Video Platform to Revolutionize Responses to Terrorism, Large Scale Criminal Events & Disasters
SENDUS and the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Dept (LASD) have announced LEEDIR, a new technology platform that will change the way law enforcement agencies respond to large scale criminal events and terrorists events. This new technology would have been ideal during the kind of active-shooting event that happened at LAX on Nov 1st, to understand how the shooting happened through eyewitness videos and to expedite collaborative analysis of the situation.
While the general public beheld the unfolding events at the Pentagon and World Trade Center as tragic, those of us in public safety saw an even more disturbing picture. Most, if not all, of us immediately recognized the magnitude of these losses from our particularly parochial viewpoint... So, what have we learned from all of this? How are we as a nation and as a profession different now? How do we view life after 9/11?
As the president of Blackboard Transact, I often speak with safety officials on campuses about how they can improve their approaches to reduce campus safety risks and institution liability, a high priority for universities in light of high-profile security issues on college campuses in recent years. While a unified approach takes commitment, time and resources, the end result could help save lives.
Managing Volunteers in Disaster Response: Kumamoto Earthquake in Japan - Assessing the Value of A Volunteers' Coordination Platform
In previous large scale natural disasters in Japan, willing volunteers tended to come into the devastated areas without thinking of how their actions could cause another hindrance to well-managed immediate relief operations. During the recent Kumamoto earthquakes of April 16, the use of a Volunteer Coordination Center was tested, where individuals and grouped volunteers can report to register and express their willingness of serving in various sectors, based on their skills and credentials...
Earth Networks, the owner of and operator of the largest weather, lightning and climate observation networks, announces it is continuing to support the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), the agency that is responsible for coordinating the response to any major emergency or disaster, through a new five-year contract with the State of Maryland.
Massachusetts EMA Unveils Renovated State EOC & Introduces First-In-The-Nation Emergency Alerting App
On Oct 5th, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick held his weekly cabinet meeting at the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) Headquarters in Framingham, where he joined Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray and members of his cabinet to tour the newly renovated State Emergency Operations Center and received a demonstration of Ping4alerts!, a new public alerting technology for smartphone users.
In March 2012, the CDP, located in Anniston, Ala., conducted its first Integrated Capstone Event (ICE). The ICE is a unique training approach that allows the CDP to combine multiple courses in a single end-of-course exercise. ICE events may include students from ten different disciplines - ranging from law enforcement to healthcare - to interact, communicate, and respond to a full-impact mass casualty incident.
Leveraging publicly available social media posts could help disaster response agencies quickly identify impacted areas in need of assistance, according to a Penn State-led team of researchers. By analyzing the September 2013 Colorado floods, researchers showed that a combination of remote sensing, Twitter and Flickr data could be used to identify flooded areas.
When looking at the existing solutions, emergency manager Robert Williams was impressed with the emergency notification system, Intelligent Notification Essentials edition, that delivered alerts by text, email and phone. He approached the team at MIR3 to see if they had any ideas for integrating the product in a way that would also activate the other alerting mechanisms on campus, like speakers, digital signage, desktop alerts on computers and even locking campus doors if a shut-down were...
Mission Manager Receives Homeland Security SAFETY Act Designation for its Incident Management Software Solution
Mission Manager, Inc. announced it has earned the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Developmental Testing & Evaluation (DT&E) designation for its incident management software - a cloud-based tool that has helped first responders save lives and property in approximately 7,000 missions since its inception.
Mission Manager, Inc. has announced the re-launch of its cloud-based incident manager tool that has helped first responders save lives and property in over 4,400 missions, including the 2014 San Diego fires and Boston Marathon. Product upgrades include significant improvements in infrastructure, data security and technical support.
Mobile Communications, Coordination, and Incident Command Training for Indonesian Emergency Responders
The Community Emergency Management Institute Japan (CEMIJ) is based in Japan, with close ties to the California Fire Chiefs Association, Communications Section and 9-1-1 Magazine... The organization has been working with the Indonesian government, local CERT ("TAGANA" in local Bahasa language), and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Jakarta to enhance the command and communication capabilities of first-responder and search & rescue resources in that country and promote advanced...
The MOBEX (Mobilization Exercise) Drill is a two-day Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) exercise at the Los Angeles County Fire Departmentâ€™s Del Valle Regional Training Center and the County of Los Angeles Reservoir at nearby Castaic. This week's drill simulated a structural collapse with trapped victims in both land based damaged structures and in structures that have fallen into waterways
With violence disrupting schools, workplaces, theaters and other public gatherings, Mount Olive (NJ) police, emergency medical services, and fire personnel got together last week to share ideas and begin preparing for a day they hope will never come... Guided by Mount Olive Police instructors, firefighters and EMS providers got a glimpse of how police officers train and began to learn where theyâ€™ll fit into a response.
The National Joint TERT Initiative (NJTI) is a partnership between APCO and NENA that has worked to develop the many facets of a Telecommunicator Emergency Response Taskforce (TERT) program and to help states develop who do not yet have an active TERT program.
A group of national public safety associations has released the results of a national survey completed by more than 1,000 first responders, emergency managers, public health officials and others on the front lines of emergency preparedness and response.
New Multimedia Toolkit Helps Local Governments Integrate 3-1-1 Disaster Response and Recovery Systems
ICMA, the International City/County Management Association, and the 311 Synergy Group have announced release of a new multi-media DVD toolkit, "Integrating 311 into Disaster Response & Recovery." The kit is designed to assist local governments in better using their 311 or CRM (constituent relationship management) systems to share information with the public in the event of an emergency.
New White Paper Assesses What's Needed for Improving Communications During Disasters and Emergencies
Eight years after the 9/11 Commission named interoperability as a serious problem for 9/11 first responders, and the Department of Homeland Security developed a communications plan for interoperability, there is still no inclusive national communications capability, according to a new white paper issued today by Mutualink, Inc.
What has changed since that ill-fated day around the 9-1-1 Center? The 9-1-1 Center has relocated; it is no longer in the basement of the County Courthouse. It moved across the street to a newly renovated, modern, three story 10,000 square foot facility, that was already county property.
As we all have read or witnessed through news accounts since September 11th, 2001, our world has changed. Those of us in Emergency Management have seen both positive responses in understanding, establishing and mitigating threat, or risk, to our citizens, but we have also seen what I would consider to be the "chicken little" mentality where an uneasy society sees a terrorist around every corner and in every shadow
In recognition of the 100th anniversary of the ANSUL brand, Tyco Fire Protection has launched the world's first online Museum of Fire Protection. The online museum website uses video, photos and text to share the story of the fire protection industry over the last century, chronicling how ANSUL and others have used cutting edge science to protect people and property around the world.
The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid transit authority (MARTA) Police Department enacted its annual simulated full-scale training exercise on Sunday, Sept. 13 at the MARTA Station at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Operation Destination Disaster was designed to evaluate emergency response capabilities in the event of an actual threat to the system.
The weeks-long manhunt last June for convicted murderers David Sweat and Richard Matt turned into an investigation of employees at the high-security prison. Could the correctional facility have known in advance that two or more of its employees posed â€śinsider threatsâ€ť â€“ just as certain IT employees can pose threats in cybersecurity breaches? This guest column discusses how public safety and other organizations can use predictive analytics to â€śinsider threats.â€ť
The California Emergency Management Agency, the California Fire Chiefs Association Communications Section, and the Carnegie Mellon University Silicon Valley Disaster Management Initiative held the 3rd Annual Mobile Communications/Command Center rally on May 22 and 23rd, 2011. This year's event combined the Rally with CMU's Disaster Management Initiative for a greater opportunity for associated workshops and exercises. The event was held at the CMU Silicon Valley campus located within the...
By utilizing the latest version of Infor EnRoute, the Spokane CCC is able to equip all of their dispatch users with the latest GIS functionality. This allows them to make route recommendations to responders, helping EMS and fire units to arrive at the scene of an incident as quickly as possible. Infor EnRoute also provides advanced data drill down capabilities, which facilitates in-depth analysis of dispatch responses.
For years many have talked about the threat of an electromagnetic pulse, whether natural occurring or as a result of a nuclear weapon, but recent event have increased concerns about that threat. EMP is the acronym for electromagnetic pulse, a burst of energy that travels through the air that is produced by a nuclear explosion in the atmosphere or possibly non-nuclear -manmade means that may result in widespread damage to all unshielded semiconductor/electronics, power lines,...
Public Safety Organizations Leveraged Dynamis COBRA Software to Keep Public Safe During President's Inauguration Weekend
Dynamis Inc.’s COBRA incident management software was utilized by multiple public safety organizations in Washington, DC during the Inauguration of the president on January 20, as well as the corresponding marches and events held during the following days
Public/Private Partnerships during Emergency Response & Recovery: An interview with AT&T's Tim Knezevich
Through dozens of years of recent disaster and major emergency responses, the response community has learned the value of partnering with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to manage the response and recovery phases of large emergencies. One such organization is AT&T, which serves as an excellent example of this kind of public/private partnership. In addition to offering rapid emergency response and an effective disaster recovery program, AT&T also recognizes the need to prepare and...
Originally published in 2007, the author, retired fire department captain George R. Bradford, has thoroughly updated the book with additional tools and guidelines for the civilian "immediate responder" -ordinary citizens operating at their own homes or businesses who are willing and able to provide the most timely action during those critical first few moments following an emergency, before the availability of government public safety responders (which, during a major event, may be delayed).
Sitting half a world away and watching the spectacle unfold, those of us in the Western Hemisphere are still afforded a ringside seat as the tragedy in Japan continues to develop. Every day brings with it new information, and seemingly a new crisis. As with any disaster, we in emergency services have a unique view of these events. Who didn't watch the Twin Towers fall and immediately have a sense of the tremendous public safety losses? We didn't need to be informed; the first picture told us...
An article by Eyragon Eidam posted at emergencymgmt.com reported on a new ordinance passed by the Silicon Valley city of Santa Clara, Calif., intended to protect its citizens from unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
The Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) in Anniston, Alabama is known for its realistic, emergency response exercises. Responders attending the Hands-On Training for CBRNE Incidents (HOT-I) course will now have an added level of realism thanks to a school bus CDP recently added to the simulated mass casualty exercise for each class.
In recognition of the 15th anniversary of that awful Tuesday in America, I'm sharing below my immediate post-9/11 reactions as a remembrance and as a reminder that the excellence of the responders and telecommunicators at the heart of 9/11 should be the goal of all 9-1-1 emergency dispatchers all the time. The quality of our work is punctuated by the fact that if we do less than the best 100% of the time, someone's life will be at stake. Few other office jobs outside of the military come with...
In a recent blog posted yesterday by Eric Holdeman at emergencymgmt.com, the author contrasts two distinct types of emergency managers. "One set has decided to implement the use of social media into their emergency management functions," Holdeman wrote, "and the second set have said, 'No thank you, and since no one is demanding it, I can coast and not do anything.'" In today's information age, Holdeman asserts, the latter group is destined to fail, especially considering the demands of...
Tsunami Threat Highlights the No. 1 Issue for Disaster Response Units: Misinformation on Social Media
The Suffolk County Office of Emergency Management used storm surge maps created by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District, to provide its emergency managers with an understanding of the potential for the extent of storm surge that could occur for worst case storms.
As much of the country continues cleanup from tornadoes, hurricanes and ongoing severe summer storms, findings from a new study released by CallFire and conducted online by Harris Poll among 2,100 U.S. adults 18 and older show that three in five Americans (59%) say they are more likely to pay attention to emergency alerts, from hurricane warnings to Amber alerts, sent to their phone as opposed to other methods such as roadside signs or TV...
The National Joint TERT Initiative (NJTI) is a partnership between APCO and NENA that involves a comprehensive program that includes assistance to individual states in developing programs that would lead to the establishment of predetermined and selected trained teams of individuals who can be mobilized quickly and deployed to assist communications centers during disasters.
In an effort to combat the high costs, deaths and injuries associated with traffic collisions, state departments of transportation (DOT) work closely with law enforcement agencies, state traffic safety offices and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to plan and implement policies that can help reduce the number of motor vehicle crashes. One approach is through the Four E’s of traffic safety - Enforcement, Engineering, Education and Emergency Medical Services.
After tornadoes left over 300 dead in just a 24 hour period those in the across the country are now aware that technology, email, text alerts, and weather radios prevented an astronomical death toll. Some of the supercell storms from Wednesday were so extreme that if anyone in their path didn’t adequately seek shelter they would not survive. By a miracle, highly visible tornadoes during the day Wednesday combined with media coverage saved many whom are counting their blessings today. Had the...
The Helios environmental intelligence platform uses proprietary algorithms that give users the ability to monitor current conditions and detect changes in visibility, precipitation and road surface conditions at a hyperlocal, or street scale. Helios can then inform users of threatening conditions. Content from the Helios platform is available via API or Web interface for integration across platforms.
Since Shanksville is located in a very rural area, the Pennsylvania State Police were in charge of the crash scene, although numerous other agencies would follow to conduct the investigation and necessary follow-up tasks.
Yellow Command is an annual exercise opportunity for EOCs throughout the Bay Area to activate and collaborate, as will be necessary in a catastrophic incident with regional impacts. As part of the Urban Shield 2016, the annual comprehensive, full-scale regional preparedness exercise assessing the overall Bay Area Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) Region's response preparedness, brought together numerous San Francisco Bay Area jurisdictions to exercise and evaluate the Regional...
By now you may have seen the previews for SAN ANDREAS, an earthquake disaster movie in which San Francisco plays a starring role. Now local disaster officials are seeing this film as a teaching moment...
Capstone 2015, a four-day real world exercise, was held on May 11-14, 2015 involving dozens of local, state, and federal agencies â€“ the very players who would be charged with managing the disaster on the state level.
e2Campus has just released the latest video episode of "America's Safe Campuses" featuring University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES). The in-depth video examines the benefits and considerations when conducting a full-scale exercise of an emergency on campus.
The United States has an opportunity to incorporate lessons learned from terrorist attacks worldwide into the ongoing development and deployment of FirstNet (First Responder Network Authority), according to a new whitepaper published recently by Mutualink. "Lessons Learned from Global Attacks: How FirstNet Can Better Prepare the U.S. for Crisis Response"