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Results - Topic: Critical Incident Management

091101

The date was supposed to be our celebration, our moment to recognize to the efforts of 9-1-1 and emergency dispatchers across our nation. Instead, it became a day of incomprehensible horror. Most of us, if we weren't in the epicenter of the events, watched our TV screens with growing incredulity as those awful images engraved themselves with bloody clarity permanently upon our collective psyche.

091201+

For many, those events, especially those in Manhattan, seemed insurmountable, incredulous, impossible to respond to with any means other than chaos. But there was order in the midst of calamity, an appropriate response was mounted and managed, and diverse responders from many disciplines came together to aid each other. In this issue we focus on the days that followed, examining the aftermath and recovery that followed the dreadful hours of that unforgettable day.

Active Shooting Response: The Call Taker's Role

In every class I teach, I drive home the point that the first person on the scene of every crime, fire and medical emergency is the initial call taker. It's no different when the call for help involves an active shooting incident. When a frightened voice on the other end of the phone is looking for help, you are right on the scene. When the phones start to light up, will you be prepared?

Aftermath: Lakewood LODD

December 8, 2009, 0600 hours. McChord Air Force Base, Tacoma, Washington. All flights in and out were suspended at this busy Washington State Air Force base to allow almost 3,000 law enforcement vehicles onto the flight line. Row upon row of patrol cars, marked and unmarked, fire rigs, ambulances and motorcycles waited silently in the icy darkness . At 1003 hours, the first vehicles in the procession began ten miles of mourning to honor four Lakewood Police officers slain in one awful...

Atty General: Police Need More Training To Prepare for Mass Shootings

Frontline police officers need new strategies and more intensive training to prepare for the possibility of mass shootings, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder told the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. With the number of incidents on the rise, local police departments can no longer rely solely on elite forces like local SWAT teams to respond to such high-pressure scenes, Holder said.

Books

Buffalo Suburb Adopts CommandScope First Responder Technology

The Main-Transit Fire Department, which operates across the Buffalo, NY, suburb of Amherst, has adopted CommandScope 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.

C4i Announces 9th version of SwitchplusIP Communications System

C4i has welcomed an upgrade of their interoperable communications system with the release of SwitchplusIP Version 9.0. As part of C4i's commitment to incorporate new technologies into our SwitchplusIP baseline, the engineering team has been working on further advancing and refining console interactions with digital radio networks. The real advancement of Release 9.0 stems from the introduction of the P25 interface for Command Center LT and Mobile-Dismount platforms.

Call Recorders: Technology Tools For Emergency Management

This article will attempt to justify including call recorders fitted with QA and Analytics capabilities in EOCs as a viable technology tool for the preparing for and responding to local disasters, impending or actual. These capabilities can be used for quality assurance on Citizen Information Lines (CIL) for the training and re-training of call handlers and volunteers for both voice and data call handling. They can be used for call data analysis for events prior-to, during, and after for ESN...

Case Study: How Armored Vehicles Prepared the San Juan Regional Response Team for an Officer-Involved Shootout

On Tuesday, July 22, 2014, a specialized law enforcement team in San Juan, Texas was sent out to serve a high-risk warrant to a capital murder suspect...quickly turned into an active shooter situation. More than 200 officers (including seven SWAT teams) responded, along with five different armored rescue vehicles, also known as armored personal carriers (APCs). The motivation in using the armored vehicles was to provide relief and to transport SWAT teams into the crisis site, where two...

City of St. Louis Implements RealView First Responder Technology

The City of St. Louis, Missouri is implementing new technologies to strengthen city-wide emergency response including the all-digital CommandScope pre-plan technology. St. Louis fire fighters will now have critical knowledge of more than 2,000 “target hazard” buildings across the municipality, vastly improving their chances of saving lives and reducing property damage in cases of emergency.

Communications & Coordination: What has public safety learned from the Oakland Hills Fire?

On Saturday, October 19, 1991, the Oakland (CA) Fire Department responded to a small wildland fire that had broken out in a box canyon near the eastern bore of the Caldecott Tunnel. Initially comprising about seven acres, firefighters gained control of the blaze and, leaving their hose lines in place, checked the area for hot spots throughout the evening and into the next day. Little could they have known at the time that this small fire would progress in the next 72 hours into a...

Communications Network Surge Management: Coping At The Local Level

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.

COPsync911 Solution: Nation’s Only Real-Time Threat Alert & Notifications System

In September of 2013, a Boston based company, Brandon-COPsync, LLC launched a software platform called COPsync 911. CS911 empowers law enforcement personnel with the latest, most powerful and innovative technology solutions. These solutions include providing law enforcement and schools with real-time information, communication and reduced response time

Covia Labs Launches Communications Interoperability Software Platform for Public Safety

Covia Labs, Inc. has announced the launch of Alert & Respond, a new software platform that offers a cost-effective way for public safety to integrate consumer smartphones and commercially available devices into their operations. Alert & Respond greatly expands the command & control and situational awareness capabilities available to public safety personnel beyond what is available with voice-only communication.

Critical Incident Management: A New Era of Post-9/11 Dispatch Models

No longer are post 9/11 dispatch models able to support moderate or significant incidents separate and apart from the philosophy of critical incident management. Personnel at Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) serve integral roles. Command and control of an incident starts as soon as the primary unit has been dispatched to virtually any call for service...

Datron UAV Provides Real-Time Video & Photo Assist in Recovery & Management of Hazmat Derailment

Datron World Communications, Inc., a leader in tactical and public safety communications products, reported that their Scout UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) was instrumental in helping local, state and federal officials as well as first responders on the ground sort out solutions for dealing with a derailed tanker car containing toxic chemicals in Louisville, KY on November 1st.

Dawson County Georgia turns up new Solacom NG9-1-1 system days before deadly winter storm hits

Seven days after Dawson County, GA cut over to a Solacom Guardian Next Generation 9-1-1 call taking system, the public safety answering point (PSAP) put the new equipment through its paces answering triple the normal number of calls as a February snow storm swept across Georgia causing power outages and treacherous roadways.

Diesel Power and Disaster Preparedness

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: A Death in the Family

As a communications center manager, I can only imagine what my counterparts who were directly responsible for dispatching the initial responses had to cope with. What was the mindset in New York City where radio calls to company after company on the scene at the World Trade Center went unanswered? How did the telecommunicators in Arlington, Virginia respond when their focus turned from the CNN reports from Manhattan to the real world scenario unfolding at the Pentagon, right outside their...

Dispatch ICS

When an extraordinary incident hits a community, the dispatch center is thrown into an exceptionally busy period of critical, peak activity. There is the potential for chaos to reign, or for conflicting orders from multiple supervisors to throw dispatch operations into disarray. Having a standardized method of managing extraordinary incidents in the dispatch center will maintain a smooth operation and maximize support to the field responders. A manner of incident command, modeled after the...

Dramatic Video: Fire truck collides with police helicopter blades in Chile

A Chilean fire truck arriving at an accident scene collides with the rotors of a police helicopter landed at the same event. According to the news reports quoted, the landing zone was closed/secured and the fire truck was approved to enter the area, but clearly drive too close to the whirling blades. Three police officers were injured, and the helicopter pilot (outside the ‘copter but struck by the tail as it began its spin) remains in critical condition.

E911: Raising Awareness for a Critical Component of Emergency Communications

Over the years, I've met with many safety officers and other managers who think a lot about emergency preparedness at our schools, corporations and government institutions. ... most of these organizations are not using all the tools available to provide the highest level of safety in the event of an emergency. While their intent is right, many safety officers are simply not aware of technology solutions that exist today for multi-line telephone systems that can ensure the right help gets to...

Emergency Communicators: Stay One Step Ahead in Preparedness

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.

EMS Helicopters: Dispatchers Facing the Challenge

I once had a boss that strongly urged me not to "spend a lot of time and energy on trying to figure out this helicopter mess. We all know helicopter transportation is just a fad and will soon be forgotten." He was so wrong.

EMS Response to the WTC Disaster

All the agencies involved in the September 11th incident faced their own sets of challenges when they responded. It was more like operating in a war zone than in a civil disaster. One of the most daunting tasks was to bring out the wounded while the attack continued to unfold.

Fatal 3rd Alarm Apartment Building Fire

On December 19, 2010 a fire was reported at the Maple Terrace Apartments On Rudderow in Maple Shade at 7:30 p.m. Companies arrived to find heavy fire condition in the building with reports of an occupant missing. Crews encountered heavy fire conditions throughout the apartment and in the roof line and set up for defensive operations. The 2nd Alarm was struck. Crews remained in defensive operations as Truck Companies operated with Ladder Pipes. Multiple 2 1/2" hand lines were placed in...

FEMA US&R Task Force Deployment 9/11:Lessons Learned

26 of the 28 Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Task Force teams that are members of FEMA's National Urban Search & Rescue Response System served in New York City and Arlington, Virginia, during the first month following the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, helping with search and rescue operations and to recover the remains of some of the thousands who died. Perhaps because the events of 9-11 have represented the greatest challenge to date for the FEMA US&R Task Force teams,...

FEMA: Hurricane Sandy - One Week Later

One week ago today, millions of Americans from North Carolina to Maine braced for Hurricane Sandy. For more than 12 hours, hurricane and tropical storm force winds, storm surge, and flooding impacted 12 states... As of 3 p.m. Monday, November 5, more than 234,000 individuals in Connecticut, New York and New Jersey have registered for assistance, and more than $210 million has been approved in FEMA Assistance

Fire On The Lot! Behind the Scenes at the 2008 Universal Studios Fire

It was a stunning scene, set against the familiar backdrop of the Hollywood Hills overlooking the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles. A massive black cloud of smoke pillared above a burgeoning firestorm on the Universal Studios backlot. In the pre-dawn light, it looked like the kind of mesmerizing, dramatic special effects that the studio is famous for. Only this was no movie...

First Emergency Management System with Interactive Voice Response Capability

ESi Acquisition, Inc. and the Vox Generation Group are pleased to announce the launch of the first new software product of their joint venture company, Boards Talk, LLC. Boards Talk powered by WebEOC introduces a direct "voice-to-machine" interface between the award-winning Interactive Voice Response (IVR) technology of VoxGen and WebEOC Professional from ESi, the most widely used crisis information management software in the world.

Free Fire/EMS Response to Civil Unrest Program for Election Year

Fire departments are getting more involved in and affected by civil unrest events. We can expect more of these as we move through an election year, and all agencies should be preparing for them. The Firefighters Support Foundation's (FSF) training program, Fire/EMS Response to Civil Unrest, is a free downloadable training resource for individuals, agencies, and trainers on this subject.

From Out of the Blue: A 9-1-1 Call from Flight 93

A cellular 9-1-1 emergency call was received at the dispatch center from a passenger on an airline. The Westmoreland dispatcher detected an immediate urgency in the caller's voice. The caller indicated that the plane was being hijacked and was calling 9-1-1 for help.

From the Archive: Bringing Home America's Astronauts: The Shuttle Columbia Incident - Search & Recovery in Texas

In honor of the 10th Anniversary of the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster, we present this article which covered the Search & Rescue operations to recover the remains of the Shuttle and its crew in Texas. During the Feb 1, 2003 incident, FEMA deployed three Incident Support Teams and six Human Remains Recovery Canine Teams from its US&R system in order to successfully recover the astronauts' remains from a debris path spread across Texas and into Louisiana. This mission was accomplished...

From the Archives: Handing a Line-Of-Duty Death - Dispatch To Eternity

July 1, 1993: A brief radio encounter - tragic events that unfolded in a matter of minutes - changed the lives of two individuals forever, leaving one dead and the other with haunting memories, and leaving many more with unanswered questions due to.

From the Archives: Handling a Line Of Duty Death - A Double Tragedy in Oakland, 1999

On Sunday, January 10th, 1999, tragedy struck the city of Oakland, California (population almost 400,000 and located across the Bay from San Francisco) when it lost two of its best emergency workers in one day... Dispatchers who handled the incidents both affirmed that there is nothing a dispatcher can do to prepare for the emotional impact of losing a field unit. The pattern I've observed from these experiences appears to be common to these types of critical incidents. These incidents...

From the Archives: Maze Meltdown: The Story of a Unique Fire

At 3:45 AM on April 29, 2007, a gasoline tanker caught fire inside the MacArthur Maze - an interchange of three major San Francisco Bay Area freeways with daily traffic of 230,000 vehicles. The intensity of the fire, and the difficulty accessing it through the maze of freeway ramps, melted the supporting guiders leading to a collapse of the interchange. Here's how Oakland area fire departments handled the incident.

From the Archives: Police Response to Suicide

Laws are certainly useful in dealing with Mental Health Commitments - but they don't adequately deal with the issue of officer safety, which is paramount when dealing with potentially dangerous situations. This is where training comes in. Training is essential in dealing with suicidal or mentally impaired individuals; this includes basic police academy training as well as continued training throughout an officer's career.

From the Archives: School Violence - Concerns for First Responders

From July/August 1999 issue: School violence has moved out of its usual urban setting and into the headlines of an increasing number of "safe," small-town communities. From Alaska to Arkansas, children have been killing and injuring other children with alarming frequency. Altercations that at one time might have involved fistfights, knives, or an occasional handgun, can now involve sophisticated semi-automatic weapons, with hundreds of rounds of ammunition that can fell scores of victim in...

From the Archives: Shoot-Out In North Hollywood: Command And Communications

February 28, 1997, was a day of mayhem and miracles in North Hollywood. A pair of gunmen, clad in ski masks and full body armor, swaggered into the Bank of America shortly after it opened for business, spray-painted the lobby with bullets from AK-47 and M-16 assault rifles, and launched what was to become one of the most prolonged and shocking gun battles in the history of the Los Angeles Police Department. The 40-minute firefight, much of which aired live on television, gripped the nation...

From the Archives: The Iron 44 Incident - Handling the Incident within an Incident

On 5 August 2008, two pilots and seven firefighters assigned to the Iron Complex fire in California's Shasta-Trinity National Forest, were killed when Carson Helicopters Sikorsky S-61N helicopter N612AZ crashed on take-off. This is the story of the incident from the perspective of the communications unit for the Complex, and the challenges of working a new major incident in the middle of an existing major incident.

From the Chair: Chaos and Staffing

The character David Brent, from the BBC series "The Office," is known for his saying, "If you can keep your head when all around you have lost theirs, then you probably haven't understood the seriousness of the situation." When referring to a PSAP we can rewrite that to say, "If you can keep your head when all around you have lost theirs, then you are probably a telecommunicator." In this installment of From the Chair, Paul uses the paraphrase of Brent's humor to write about how the outbreak...

From the Chair: Preparing for the Unthinkable

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...

Frontier Communications Praised for Its Restoration Services during Last Summer's Wildfires Raged Across Central Washington

Frontier Communications was honored to receive praise from Brewster (WA)-based client U.S. Electrodynamics Inc., for emergency response efforts during the series of wildfires that raged across Central Washington this past summer.

Ground Zero 9-1-1: FDNY Communications on September 11th

On September 11th... I arrived at my union office to see the doorman watching TV. On the screen was something I never imagined would happen. A plane had slammed into #1 World Trade Center. I stared in amazement as massive flames and profuse black smoke engulfed the upper floors. I knew in an instant that I had to get to the Manhattan central office. They were going to need help.

Howard County, Maryland Embraces CommandScope Technology for First Responders

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...

ICS at Ground Zero: Incident Management Teams in NYC

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...

IDV Solutions announces Visual Command Center 2.0

IDV Solutions will release Visual Command Center 2.0, a new version of its risk awareness and response software, this October... Visual Command Center helps public safety agencies, corporations, and other organizations identify and evaluate risks, by integrating real-time data about global events with enterprise data stores and security systems in a consolidated view, using an interactive map and timeline.

Impressions of Hell: A First Hand Report from the WTC

Initially, there seemed to be a lot of disorganization for the first several days as the leadership scrambled to keep up with the volunteers who showed up and the teams that were deployed to help out. Most teams though, especially the FEMA ones, were well organized among themselves and were capable of running autonomously even if little or no input from higher up was forthcomming

Incident Command System: The Next Generation?

Designated the Next-Generation Incident Command System (NICS), its developers depict it as "a combination of tools, technologies, and an innovative concept of operations for emergency response." It's what a lot of us in public safety have been waiting for since laptops and mobile computers first found a place inside our command centers, mobile command vehicles, and chief officers' vehicles

Incident Leadership & Management: Dispatch in a Post-9/11 Era

When public safety communication centers and their personnel are not appropriately engaged in planning and preparedness efforts the results are predictable - the planning is incomplete. The need to achieve effective and efficient communications along with appropriate involvement of public safety communications centers is a constant lesson learned referenced in after action reports. In this article, we will explore the principles and practices of the Incident Command System (ICS) as it...

Innocent Blood: Shots Fired in Newtown

Active shooters have now become such a part of public safety's life that the names of the communities in which they occur run together in a liturgy reminiscent of the battles of our Civil War... Now, Columbine is not even alone in Colorado in this distinction. And if misery truly does love company, they are comfortably surrounded by the Virginia Techs, and Clackamases, and Newtowns of our country...

Internal Politics: Lessons Learned on The Pile

You've all seen the pictures on television, in newspapers, or in other media, all showing the devastation of what was once called the World Trade Center. What you haven't heard about was the relationship between the New York rescuers and the teams sent from throughout the country to help perform Search and Rescue operations at Ground Zero... What are some of the lessons we learned there, that we could make use of in our own agencies?

IP Intercoms Assist Classroom Support and Emergency Response at UNC Charlotte

Finding a solution to an ongoing problem about reporting malfunctioning audio/visual equipment at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte unexpectedly resulted in a solution that would eventually be used for emergency communications on campus.

Iridium Launches Industry's First Global Portable Satellite Hotspot, Iridium GO!

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.

Lake County Weathers "Snowmageddon"

On February 2, 2011, Lake County Emergency Management had to mobilize for the third-largest snowstorm to ever hit the area. Although the county's public safety agencies were prepared for the event, many of its residents were not. As the storm quickly escalated, calls came pouring in to assist stranded motorists and residents in need of medical attention. Coordination between first responders from several municipalities - some on snowmobiles, snowplows and front loaders - over a large area...

Las Vegas Fire & Rescue's Mobile Command & Communications Unit

After working on plans for the new Mobile Command Center for nearly a year, work began in October 2003. The unit was delivered to the department in May after being exhibited by Pierce at the FDIC East in Indianapolis. The interior of the Mobile Command Unit (MCU) is divided into three areas: public information, communications, and command & control.

Lone Worker/Man-Down Modules from Midian

Midian introduces the TS-120 and VAE-1 Lone Worker/Man-Down modules. Both units can send ANI and Emergency ANI in Motorola's MDC-1200, Kenwood's FleetSync, Harris' G-Star, DTMF and 5-Tone. The units also support the Lone Worker feature which requires user interaction with the radio otherwise it sends the Emergency ANI. Some versions of the TS-120 and VAE-1 also have an accelerometer for Man-Down applications

Matrox & Trenton to Provide Integrated Hardware Systems for EOC Video Walls

Middletown Township Comm Van Supports EMS Response

As the EMS community in Monmouth County (NJ) prepared to receive the casualties evacuating from New York City in the wake of the World Trade Center attack, the Field Comm unit from Middletown was requested to support the operation. As Field Comm Captain, I would deploy the unit, a 35-foot truck, built by Lynch Diversified Vehicles and purchased several years ago as a joint effort of the police and fire departments, and the city Office of Emergency Management. I

Minor Airport Mishap A Serious Response for Atlanta FD

It may not have been a major disaster - fortunately - but any aircraft response is taken seriously. In the case of a recent Boeing 737 that ran off a taxiway in Atlanta (GA), while no fire or injuries ensued, a large response of airport and city fire units maintained a safety standby and incident command post for more than five hours to ensure a safe mitigation to the incident and removal of the damaged aircraft.

Miracle on the Hudson - The Rescue of Flight 1594: The View from Dispatch

Yesterday marks the third anniversary of the emergency landing of US Airways Flight 1549 into the Hudson River that saved the lives of all 155 people on board the aircraft. The firefighters and officers who worked the night tour of January 14th and the day tour of January 15, 2009 were in for a busy 24 hours. The men and women of the Manhattan Communication Office were in for a busy day tour. However, they didn't realize how busy!

Mission Manager Strengthens Powerful First Responder Tool

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...

Multiple Matrox Expander Units Drive Up to 16 Remote Call Center/EOC Displays

Matrox Graphics Inc. has announced a new software release for the Matrox Extio F2208 dual-monitor and Matrox Extio F2408 quad-monitor KVM extenders. The comprehensive package enables a variety of new multi-display configuration opportunities that includes support for two PCIe interface cards, main units and Extio F2408E Expander boxes to drive up to 16 displays - plus keyboard, mouse, audio and up to eight additional USB 2.0 ports - at a distance of up to 1 km from a single PC.

National Tactical Officers Association (NTOA) Calls for Increased EMS Training for Police Officers

Police officers remain our primary first responders to active shooter incidents and mass-casualty events. Responding officers can prevent unnecessary deaths by addressing immediate threats, and then providing emergency care including the application of tourniquets and pressure dressings to prevent hemorrhage, triaging casualties, establishing secure casualty collection points, and coordinating care with existing EMS responders.

New Cloud-Based Service Provides First Responders with Critical Info during Chemical Emergencies

To give first responders better access to potentially lifesaving hazardous chemical information, MSDSonline, a leading cloud-based hazardous chemical management solutions provider is launching a new chemical information sharing service. Called Plan1, the new service, free to emergency responders, enables MSDSonline customers to give firefighters, paramedics, doctors, police officers and other first responders access to critical information about the hazardous chemicals they may encounter...

New Incident Command toolkit provides innovative approach to active shooter incident

A new emergency toolkit that coordinates and improves responsiveness to an active shooter or hostile intruder incident has been introduced by Kingfisher Medical, the North American partner of TSG. The Rapid Onset Violence Emergency Response kit, or ROVER, provides first responders with a deployment-ready, suitcase-sized toolkit to efficiently coordinate information, rapidly treat life-threatening injuries and quickly remove the injured.

New Release of NICE Inform,Multimedia Incident Information Management Solution

NICE Systems has announced the introduction of its new release of the NICE Inform multimedia incident information management solution. The new release of NICE Inform builds on NICE's advanced capabilities by giving security control centers and Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) the ability to integrate text, video and voice recordings from third party capture platforms into holistic incident timelines. This differentiating technology reinforces NICE's support of Next Generation 9-1-1 and...

North Hollywood Shoot Out: Maintaining Control

What follows is a portion of the radio traffic from both LAPD's North Hollywood Frequency and Van Nuys Frequency during the Bank of America incident. Tonja Bellard is the North Hollywood dispatcher, while Guadalupe De La Cruz handled Van Nuys, assisted by Robyn Frazier. Unit 9L89 is Officer Martin Whitfield, one of the most seriously wounded officers in this incident.

NYC 9-1-1: The Eye Of The Storm

I arrived at the center approximately five minutes after the first plane had struck and at that point there was little credible information regarding the size of the plane or damage estimates from the scene. No matter, our personnel had already sprung into action putting our major incident plan into effect. Administrative and training personnel not normally involved in call taking operations were already on the floor...

On The Job: Rural Oregon Bus Crash MCI

Even in rural Northeast Oregon we are not immune to multiple casualty incidents (MCI). When something major occurs, we have to pool our resources together with our neighbors and get the job done. On the morning of December 30, 2012, at 10:07hrs, our 9-1-1 dispatch center erupted with a flurry of activity that won’t soon be forgotten. A bus lost control and ended up going down a 200 foot embankment on Interstate 84. The slope was covered with ice and snow making it hard to extricate the...

One Year Later: Moving Past September 11th

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

Operation Serenade: Simi Valley PD and President Reagan's Funeral

As a dispatcher with the Simi Valley (CA) Police Department since 1977, promoted to the position of Communications Manager in 1990, I have been involved with many citywide incidents from earthquakes, to fires, to floods, to the opening of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library with five living Presidents attending. But nothing has come close to being involved in managing public safety during the internment of Ronald Wilson Reagan, 40th President of the United States. This event was...

Pennsylvania State Police Respond To Flight 93 Crash

When hijacked United Airlines Flight 93 crashed in Shanksville, Somerset County on September 11, 2001 the Police Communications Officers and State Police Officers from Troop A were handling the incoming telephone calls, along with the Somerset 9-1-1 Center.

Perspective: Rage, Hatred & Human Violence: By Another Road

In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, 9-1-1 Magazine columnist and former Assistant DA John C. Fine shares his perspective on the nature of modern violence and the dark road that leads toward these kinds of tragedies.

PlanView Sliding Whiteboard Multi-Track System for Emergency Management

Magnatag's PlanView multiple track cabinets hold up to 10 sliding magnetic steel whiteboards, maps and bulletin panels, turning an ordinary wall into a flexible, easy to use visible Emergency Information Center.

Police and Fire Sharing Facilities:

If you travel across America you'll find that most cities and towns typically have separate police and fire stations and most of these stations also have their own dispatch centers. Even in some of the smallest towns in New England or the Midwest this still is the case. But with most states in a deep recession, taxpayers are questioning whether having separate facilities makes fiscal sense.

PowerPhone Issues Active Shooting Response Bulletin

PowerPhone, has published an Active Shooting Response (ASR) Bulletin for public safety agencies. The free bulletin may be used as agencies see fit in preparing and equipping their call takers and dispatchers with effective instructions to deal with an active shooting event.

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...

Quintron Unveils New UC3 Unified Command, Control & Communications Platform

Quintron Systems, Inc., a recognized leader in interoperable Enterprise-Class Systems for Security Command, Control & Communications, is pleased to announce the integration of its AccessNsite interoperable security management solution with the company's unique voice communications technology to form a new UC3 Unified Command, Control & Communications solution for Emergency, Safety, and Security Operations Centers

Reactive and Proactive

How Communication Helped Safeguard Southern California Residents during the Wildfires

Remembering Ray Downey, FDNY 9/19/37 - 9/11/01

All those who died that day will forever be heroes, but Ray Downey's life prior to that day had already made him a hero to so many who had know him. At 63, he was the Deputy Chief in charge of Special Operations Command (SOC) for the largest urban Fire Department in the world. His contributions to the Rescue community had made him a legend, and he was respected as a leading authority on Structural Collapse Rescue all over the Country.

Role of 9-1-1 Dispatcher Emphasized in Active Shooter Incidents Following Sandy Hook Investigation

Statistics released by the Department of Homeland Security indicate that the average active shooter incident lasts 12.5 minutes, while the average law enforcement response time is 18 minutes. This means that very often, the 9-1-1 dispatcher will be the first law enforcement representative to establish contact with victims or those closely involved with these dramatic events.

SAP Situational Awareness Rapid-Deployment Solution Offers Real-Time Insights to Police & First Responders

SAP AG has announced the availability of the SAP Situation Awareness rapid-deployment solution for public sector with SAP HANA. Applying a combination of innovations, the new solution provides real-time situational awareness to operational public safety and security officials who are on the ground dealing with major incidents, serious crime and emergencies.

School Fire

On Monday, July 5, 2010 at 4:17 AM units of the San Jose (CA) Fire Department responded to a major fire at Trace Elementary School located at 651 Dana Avenue in the city's Rose Garden neighborhood.

Second Heroes Behind The Badge feature documentary to premiere Dec 15

The follow up film to the acclaimed documentary HEROES BEHIND THE BADGE is HEROES BEHIND THE BADGE: SACRIFICE & SURVIVAL and will be released in the Fall of 2013. This second full-length documentary film will not only tell the stories of brave officers who have laid down their lives in the line of duty. But also the stories of the countless officers each year who are physically disabled, many of them permanently, in violent confrontations.

Seeing the Scene

Video Systems in Public Safety Call Taking and Response

September 11th 2011: A Decade of Reflection

In honor of the tenth anniversary of September 11th, 2001, 9-1-1 Magazine presents a number of new features and also archival stories from our original coverage in 2001 and subsequent years.

Somerset County 9-1-1: The Crash of Flight 93

For the men and women at the 9-1-1 Center in Somerset County, PA, September 11 took on a personal meaning when United Airlines Flight 93, hi-jacked by terrorists and bound for an uncertain target in or near Washington DC, crashed in the midst of their jurisdiction, in a field in Shanksville, PA.

Spinning, Spinning, Spinning

From Jul/Aug 1997 issue: All of us in dispatch are awed by the challenges that faced the Colorado telecommunicators... And as crime perpetuates crime and the darkness that exists in so many young souls prepared no doubt to writhe into another tragedy someday yet to come, we grieve for Jefferson County, we pray for our own children, and as we wonder just how recklessly this world is spinning out of control...

Survey Reveals Growing Adoption of Incident Command System within Utilities Industry

Utilities are increasingly adopting the Incident Command System (ICS). To identify trends, best practices, and challenges of ICS in the utilities industry, Macrosoft conducted a survey of 85 participants, representing large and small utilities, drawn from all regions of the U.S. The survey results present a mixed picture. While much progress has been made, significant obstacles remain.

Survey: 82% Of Incident Control Rooms Need Better Tools

It’s striking that 82% of incident command staff are not happy with the current tools they are using to document decisions, risks, leads, and taskings. Decisions [D4H] multi-award winning emergency response team management software providers have extracted some interesting information from a survey of the public & industrial emergency response markets.

Tactical Dispatching: Stand-Off in Susquehanna County, PA Ends Peacefully

At 08:07 we arrived on scene and had a briefing with the sergeant from the state police. We set the trailer up a few houses down from the actual scene. After acquiring aerial maps from our GIS data for the state police SERT team we erected our satellite dish and cell mast... we were just out of range of the satellite because of the mountainous terrain; however with our diverse communications methods available to us we were able to provide cellular communications and data.

Terrorism And Urban Search And Rescue

FEMA sponsors 28 national urban search-and-rescue (US&R) task force teams, comprised of fire-rescue specialists, structural engineers, medical professionals, logistical and communications specialists, canine disaster search teams, and incident support managers, ready to serve as a national resource for disaster rescue response nationwide. "As soon as it became obvious that we were facing a major terrorist event, we knew we were going to have structural collapse responses," said Dave Webb,...

Teton Interagency Fire Reduces Mobile Command Costs with TACPAK

When the Red Rock and Gray Hills fires combined to ravage 12,000 acres in the remote Gros Ventre Wilderness, Teton Interagency Fire responded. Due to the remote Fire Complex location, data and voice communication was limited to costly and inefficient hand delivered messages and radio connections made by sending trucks many miles down valley... In response, the Wyoming Department of Homeland Security deployed their TACPAK Briefcase Command Center, manufactured by 308 Systems, at the fire site.

The Dark Mind Descends: The Aurora Movie Shootings

Within moments of the awful shooting spree in which 71 people were shot (12 fatally) as they watched the midnight premiere of the new Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises, in Aurora, Colorado, news had taken wing and spread across the Internet. A rushing wave of incredulity and sorrow swept across social media networks like Facebook and Twitter as those of us still up after midnight read with heartache and horror what transpired in the flickering darkness of Aurora's Century 16 Theater.

The Emergency Doctrine: Doing the Right Thing

The Emergency Doctrine was created by human lawmakers who understood that if we are held to our normal standard of care during times when meeting such a standard is impossible, we may not act at all out of fear that we will do the wrong thing.

The Gang Problem: Gang Migration - Midwest (Part 3 of 3)

Inner city gang thugs moving from the cities and literally raping, pillaging, and plundering rural America's smaller cities. Like locusts moving from one town to the next, leaving nothing but crime ridden and drug infested cities now mere shadows of their former selves in the wake of the gangsters leaving and those staying behind -- like enemy troops on occupied territory.

The Hidden Hazards of Chemical Suicide

Police and firefighters in Aurora, Colorado responded to an apartment building after a report was made of the smell of rotten eggs in the area. The building was evacuated, and responders entered an apartment whose bathroom had been taped shut with duct tape. Signs warned of hazardous materials inside. A young woman's body was soon removed from the residence. Welcome to the new and terrifying world of chemical suicide. As a 9-1-1 dispatcher, it's important for you to know that this threat...

The Importance of Storm Spotting

...From Action News Central... A tornado warning is in effect until 6pm for...

The Poomacha Fire

The Poomacha Fire started in the early hours of October 23 as a residential structure fire that spread to the wildland. Around noon that day, I received a call from CAL FIRE Battalion Chief Alan Knapp from the Lake-Napa-Sonoma Unit; the Communications Unit Leader (COML) on California Incident Management Team 4, which had been pre-staged in Southern California awaiting assignment and were now heading to San Diego County to support command of the Poomacha fire.

The Shooting at Virginia Tech

On the morning of April 16, 2007, the quiet calm that hung over the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, southwestern Virginia, was pierced by the sharp pop of gunshots and the cries and screams of panic and pain.

The Silence of the Innocents

Beyond my grief for the children and families of Newtown is a deep concern for the public safety responders of Newtown and the police, fire, and EMS dispatchers who shared their response and its aftermath... dispatchers who may not have witnessed directly but felt the event just as keenly in the voices of 9-1-1 callers and response units from the scene.

United 93

Watching UNITED 93, the film about the passengers who fought back against terrorists and prevented them from crashing the plane into the White House or US Capitol building, is quite an emotional experience, especially for those of us in public safety and to whom the events of 9/11 resonate with an especially personal clarity.

United Flight 93 Revisited: Command and Control in Shanksville

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.

US&R Communications at the World Trade Center

The Puget Sound Washington US&R Task Force encountered several communication difficulties during our deployment to the World Trade Center incident. We were deployed at the site from September 19th-29th and spent most of the assignment working in the Church Street Sector or East Branch area of responsibility between WTC Buildings 4 and 5.

Using ICS for Interoperability

Technology isn't the only answer to interoperability. The Department of Homeland Security is trying to get people to understand there is a "continuum of interoperability" that includes operations and exercises beyond the technology. The Incident Command System (ICS) has been at the center of many of these activities and has shown its ability to manage communications at large scale and well-integrated incidents.

Valuable Situational Awareness Lesson in Dashcam Video as Pursuit Ends When Woman Collides With Train

This dashboard camera footage comes from the Woods Cross (Utah) Police Department. After pursuing a suspect associated with an unwanted guest disturbance call, an officer witnesses the suspect drive into a southbound freight train passing through on the farthermost track of a double-track railroad crossing. Her car stuck on the closer track, she is then hit and propelled ahead by a second southbound train.

Video Aids Wildfire Management in San Diego County

On Sunday, October 21, 2007 the first of many wildfires began burning out of control in the Portero area of San Diego County. Fueled by high off shore winds, multiple fires were tracked and managed over the course of 10 days.

Video: Firefighter’s Helmet Cam shows challenges faced in California wildfire-spawned structure fire

Posted by Modesto Firefighters Local 1289 on YouTube - On 05/16/2014 at 18:16 Modesto Regional Fire Authority (CA) responded to a 3-alarm fire at 516 Comstock Court. The following raw footage is from a helmet camera worn by a MRFA Firefighter who responded to the Emerald Ave. fire with over 22 other units from Modesto and neighboring agencies. Firefighters were challenged by 15-20 mph winds and lack of initial man power.

Wave of 9-1-1 calls generated by Maine earthquake overwhelms system

On October 16th, a magnitude 4.0 earthquake centered near Waterboro, Maine (where earthquakes of this size are a rarity), triggered a flood of calls to 9-1-1 - but not from people seeking emergency assistance. Most were simply looking for information about the quake... "That 172 calls represents a little over half of our calls that we would get in a day," ECC director Tom Cavanaugh told WCSH6. "So that is a significant spike."

What If Columbine Were Mine?

Seven years ago this month, on April 20, 1999 the word Columbine entered our collective vocabulary as the singular definition of school violence. Although not the first, and regrettably, not the last such incident, it served to bring attention to the fact that tragedies of unimaginable magnitudes can - and do - happen almost anywhere.

When Mud Flows

On October 2, 2007, gale-force Santa Ana winds whipped up wildland fires throughout Southern California, charring 517,267 acres; destroying 2,233 homes, five businesses, and 966 outbuildings; killing 10 people and injuring another 139; and launching the largest evacuation in California history, according to the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (OES).

Wisconsin agency becomes the 1,000th public safety agency to purchase Spillman software

Spillman Technologies recently welcomed its 1,000th public safety software customer, the Taylor County Sheriff's Office in Wisconsin. Spillman President and CEO Lance Clark said that achieving 1,000 customers is a huge milestone for Spillman.

 
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