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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.
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?"
Among the unsung heroes in the public safety response to and recovery from Hurricane Sandy are the emergency dispatchers who worked tirelessly behind the scenes, answering the thousands of 9-1-1 calls and coordinating the response to innumerable emergencies including huge fires in NYC and a myriad of emergencies in cities and towns large and small throughout the affected region. Many of these dispatchers lost their own homes in the devastation of the hurricane.
When a disaster occurs, the government becomes quickly over-burdened with requests to handle simple emergencies - emergencies that every one of us should be able to handle on your own... Neighborhood Preparedness Solutions has launched a complete and thorough online source of information dedicated to the Immediate Responders' individual efforts. The goal is to encourage participation throughout community neighborhoods as well as to gain the cooperation within local government.
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?
The flood of new technology makes it easier than ever to reach out and communicate with someone, right? Think again. While it's true that communicating with "someone" may indeed be easier, achieving dependable communications with "everyone" on a moment's notice and in an emergency crisis is at least as much of a challenge as ever. So why is that?
Architects Design Group (ADG) was recently selected as the Architect of Record for the Needs Assessment and Conceptual Design of the new Brevard County Emergency Operations Center (EOC)... The new EOC will be a multi-agency coordination center including Emergency Operations, Sheriff's Dispatch and Fire Rescue Dispatch, and will help facilitate agency coordination and decision making during a natural or man-made disaster.
Advanced Laser Imaging Build On Their Metropolitan Police Service Experience To Develop New Policing Markets For 3D Laser Scanning
After eight years' working with the Metropolitan Police Service, the founders of Advanced Laser Imaging Ltd, headquartered in London, England, are now extending the scope of their world-leading expertise. Built on the latest laser scanning and photogrammetry techniques, the company's highly accurate, immersive, 3D environments have now been developed for a wide range of security-related applications, including crime investigation environment imaging and more efficient delivery of greater...
From the Archives: Everywhere 9-1-1 lines were jammed with worried callers. Fear and despair, failure of communication networks, even destruction of New York City's emergency management bunker in the World Trade Center resulted in confusion. Law enforcement, fire and rescue teams from the City and from neighboring departments worked together to respond to the emergency...
AmpliVox Sound Systems is proud to introduce the groundbreaking Radio Hailer communication system, the most powerful, cost-effective, and versatile emergency sound system available. The innovative Radio Hailer is a vital tool for first and post response teams, especially in large emergencies that demand quick, clear communication from emergency personnel to operation leaders, team members...
C4i, Inc. recently debuted the sixth release of its award winning SwitchplusIP product, complete with newly upgraded features. C4i's SwitchplusIP family includes SwitchplusIP Command-Post, a communication system designed especially to cater for larger multiple or single agency emergency response applications in both fixed and transportable formats; SwitchplusIP Command-Center, which provides all the functionality required by a single or joint agency operations center to communicate with...
The California Emergency Management Agency (Cal EMA) has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the American Red Cross, a move that builds on a continuing effort to boost emergency response capabilities and the availability of critical resources in times of emergency.
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...
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 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.
Galain Solutions, a leading consulting firm in alert and warning practices and technologies, has released a white paper that navigates the new Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) system, which will be operational beginning this spring.
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.
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...
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...
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.
Crisis 360 is the next generation emergency management application that puts up-to-the-minute situational awareness in the hands of your entire team. Sophisticated mapping, reporting, and entity status tracking allow you to spearhead the response and safeguard your team.
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...
In the aftermath of 9/11, many law enforcement agencies sought to establish new data repositories to capture information, such as Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR, also known as Tips & Leads), Organized Crime Intelligence, Counter-terrorism Intelligence, and even Web-based and electronic document open-source data. Quite a few agencies, perhaps a result of the growth of Fusion Centers, are now interested in setting up information management systems that can mine existing data repositories...
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.
After the initial plane struck the first tower, a third alarm was transmitted. When the second plane struck the other tower, two 5th alarm assignments, one for each building, were transmitted, plus an additional 2nd Alarm assignment for Brooklyn companies to respond into Manhattan. FDNY companies from all five boroughs were responding. Urgent requests for additional help were radioed to Manhattan fire alarm dispatchers, just as numerous reports of trapped civilians and were flooding the...
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.
DeLorme Assisting in Development of Disaster Relief Mapping in Pacific Rim Region of Asia To Support Rapid Response Capabilities When Natural Disasters Strike
DeLorme is currently assisting the Government of Australia and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in the development of a disaster relief mapping service to enable rapid response capabilities in the event of a natural disaster in the Asia Pacific Rim.
The Detroit suburbs of Plymouth and Northville, Michigan.are adopting the all-digital CommandScope from RealView LLC to strengthen emergency response. As a shared technology between the City Fire Services, serving Plymouth and Northville, responders will now have immediate, critical knowledge of municipal buildings and facilities, vastly improving their chances of saving lives and reducing property damage in cases of emergency.
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.
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...
For those of us in the 9-1-1 business, professionals in the realm of public safety communications, September 11th has a very unique ring. It tolls with the low, baritone gong of the funeral procession, since so many of our brothers and sisters in the first responder community perished as a result of those heinous acts of warfare against our country and our way of life. We, who have dedicated ourselves or at least entered into a profession whereby our mission is to help people during...
Now in its fourth year, and conducted again by Zogby, 2013 Federal Signal Public Safety Survey has traditionally surveyed the general public on safety awareness and emergency preparedness attitudes and behaviors. For the first time, however, this year's survey shifts the conversation by asking emergency managers about the most significant challenges they face and the measures they are taking to address them.
Todayâ€™s new recruits most likely grew up with touchscreen technology, swiping and tapping between apps on smart phones and tablets like a jazz pianist taking a solo. There are scores of apps designed to streamline decision making for emergency personnel...
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.
Recently, I had the opportunity to assist an international security company with the task of developing an EMS system in Central America. While this company had experience in law enforcement deployment, they had not yet put together an EMS system so they sought advice from others to help design one for a location where EMS was virtually non-existent (with the exception of limited providers for private payers).
Among the most important swiftwater safety videos you'll see, and one that did much to educate public safety as well as the public in the early days of swiftwater rescue understanding, is NO WAY OUT, which is now available on youtube. NO WAY OUT was created in 1993, largely in response to the February 12th 1992 drowning death of a San Fernando Valley 15-year-old named Adam Bischoff, one of dozens of youth who've lost their lives in Los Angeles' concreted waterways.
In the Borough of Highlands, a close-knit clamming town with a harbor on Sandy Hook Bay, Lieutenant Edward Chambers was watching the horror unfold on a television set in headquarters. As media coverage brought terror into homes and offices throughout the world, Highlands Police received a phone call from the SeaStreak Ferry as it traversed the harbor between New York and New Jersey. The SeaStreak official informed the police that they were carrying nearly 400 injured people from Manhattan.
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.
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,...
Independent Study â€“ 317, Introduction to Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) has recently been added to the Emergency Management Institute's catalog of free online course offerings. As part of the process of making the course available through EMI, we have made several technical fixes to IS-317 in response to feedback we received from many users over the past several months.
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."
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
Photo Story: Between December 14 and 17, Canadian photographer Mitchell Brown joined 19 firefighters from Tennessee, North Carolina, Ohio, New York and Maryland to lend a hand in Breezy Point, New York, helping rebuild homes damaged by Hurricane Sandy.
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.
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.
Now available from the Firefighters Support Foundation (FSF), Active Shooter: Rapid Response and Treatment Model, Operational Detail is a follow-on to last year's introductory Active Shooter Response: The Rapid Response & Treatment Model (R2TM). Developed and de-bugged in several large-scale simulations, this Hillsboro (OR)-developed response model is the only practical model to address the main concern at most active shooter events: getting the wounded to definitive care as soon as possibl
... It was only when swiftwater rescue instructors and rescuers refined and clarified the term to include flood rescue operations that the concept began to take its proper place in the technical rescue line-up. Floods are potential disasters. Floods can kill people. Floods can involve fast moving water and you need to be able to rescue people from it...
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...
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...
Members of the Police Unity Tour (an organized dedicated to bringing public awareness of Police Officers who have died in the line of duty and to honor their sacrifice) and the Port Authority Police Benevolent Association turn out to aid a New York City neighborhood devastated by Hurricane Sandy.
The New York PD's Deputy Commissioner of Public Information, Paul Browne, has issued an NYPD release, detailing the police rescue efforts during Hurricane Sandy. It also includes an update on the city's death toll from the storm... In related news, the NYPD has released video of four rooftop rescues on Staten Island where some residents were trapped due to rising waters.
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.
FEMA administrator Craig Fugate speaks with a Joplin firefighter in front of what used to be one of the town's five fire stations. This and one other station were destroyed by the deadly tornado that smashed the community on May 22.
In order to facilitate a rapid response to any type of incident, the Harris County Sheriff''s Office has strategically placed a number of Mobile Command Posts (MCPs) throughout the county. These vehicles also provide regional response capabilities and support to the 13 county region surrounding Harris County.
Harris County, Texas has a new, state-of-the-art Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to help local governments and emergency responders serve and protect residents during disasters and emergencies. Harris County is the third largest county in the United States and the largest in Texas. It has 34 cities and more than 4.4 million residents.
Haystax Technology, Inc., a leading provider of advanced analytics and cybersecurity solutions, has announced it will bolster school safety for the McAllen Independent School District (MISD), which spans 33 campuses and more than 30,000 students, teachers and employees in Texas' Rio Grande Valley. MISD will launch the Haystax School Safety Center, a cloud-based software platform that gives school administrators and public safety agencies a common operational picture of the school security...
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.
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 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.
IDV Solutions has integrated its Visual Fusion data visualization software with technology that enables public safety agencies to share emergency information in real time. The Visual Fusion integration with Unified Incident Command & Decision Support (UICDS) was demonstrated during a multi-agency simulation of a terror attack.
IDV Solutions, LLC, has launched Peroptics AlertView for its market-leading enterprise risk visualization (ERV) software platform, Visual Command Center. Peroptics AlertView displays a high-level visual summary of all active risk alerts and is optimized for viewing on large-format monitors in emergency operations centers and other command operations facilities.
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,...
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
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...
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?
Tactical Command Cabinets, LLC has engineered the new EX2240 Watch Commander tactical command board, specially designed for incident command situations involving fire, police, EMS and other public safety vehicles. Complete with vertical incident command boards, now your agency can have a board on each side of the command area - even room for a horizontal pull out if needed.
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.
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.
SpectraRep LLC, an advanced solutions provider for emergency communications, announced that its IncidentOne technology was used to support video and file sharing among multiple agencies during the July 4th festivities in northern Virginia and on the National Mall. IncidentOne, a state-of-the-art, wireless emergency communications solution, delivered operational and crisis incident data to mobile emergency management command centers and police cruisers positioned around northern Virginia and...
Illinois' Loyola University is expanding its use of the RealView, LLC's CommandScope Pre-Plan technology to cover the 61-acre medical campus in nearby Maywood. This expansion underscores the school’s commitment creating a safe environment by providing critical campus and building information to first responders in case of an emergency.
LuciadLightspeed provides software components and functionalities that enable data fusion, visualization and analysis of geospatial information. LuciadLightspeed enables the development of Sustainable Applications; Applications that are easier, and thus lower cost, to maintain, and applications that can be evolved in a cost effective manner.
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.
Matrox Graphics Inc. has announced Matrox MuraControl for Windows video wall management software to configure, operate, and otherwise take full advantage of video walls powered by Matrox Mura MPX Series output/input boards.
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.
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.
Mutualink, Inc. has announced the availability of a new mobile operations fusion kit (OFK) for use by military personnel and first responders in the field. The kit, known as OFK 2.0, enables users to connect anywhere and anytime with the most flexible, agile, and secure communications and interoperability "go kit" available on the market today. It enables secure voice, full-motion video, and information sharing on a global, real-time basis.
Due to the fluid nature of the disaster, the 189th Airlift Wing requested deployment of Region 6's Tactical Command Package (TAC-PAK) Ultra-Agile briefcase mobile command system, manufactured by 308 SYSTEMS. For 16 days, the briefcase sized command and communication system provided both operational and welfare/moral communications traffic linking the 150 person tent city with the trailer based MEOC, Joint Operations Center, and Unit Command Posts.
Members of the National Urban Search and Rescue Task Force receive a briefing before flying from Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., to Staten Island, N.Y., to conduct house-to-house searches, Nov 3, 2012. The Task Force includes state search and rescue task forces from Maryland, Virginia, and Texas.
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...
The Harris County Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management (HCOHSEM) exists to prepare and protect its residents from disasters of all kinds. During an emergency, HCOHSEM activates its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to support and coordinate emergency operations, and to keep stakeholders and the public informed.
The Firefighters Support Foundation's (FSF) newest free training program, Emergency Management for the Fire Service, is now available. As the role of the fire service expands, emergency management, rather than strict firefighting, will become an ever more important function that the fire service provides.
Magnatag's new PlanView sliding magnetic whiteboard multiple-track system turns an ordinary wall into a flexible, easy to use visible Emergency Information/Command Center.
NICE Systems Ltd. has introduced NICE Situator for public safety. The solution builds on NICE's leading Situation Management capabilities in the security sector to help public safety operations enhance emergency preparedness, improve situational awareness and streamline incident response.
The Northern California city of Lincoln (pop. 42,819, in Placer County) only has a budget to staff a single on-duty dispatcher at all times. It was up to that dispatcher - veteran telecommunicator Teri Leedy - to handle a major emergency last month when a leaking propane railcar caught fire. In addition to handling all of the incoming 9-1-1 calls, Leedy quickly notified the city’s police and fire departments, coordinated the response of surrounding agencies, and sent EMS units to treat a...
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.
The North Tahoe Fire Protection District in California will soon begin speaking directly to the public during fire events in a most retro yet revolutionary way – using two portable broadcast radio transmitters. “We will deploy the transmitters to announce evacuation routes, shelter locations, or changes in those scenarios, as that kind of thing will change with the wind quite literally” states the District’s Chris Stulik.
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.
A new online resource site, Emergencymanagementdegree.com, was prepared by Audrey Banks in 2011 with the intent to help students who are interested in taking up a course in emergency management and disaster management. "One of my friends was looking on internet for information on the various courses available in emergency management," said Audrey. "While helping him, we collected a lot of info on the various types of courses in emergency management and the colleges and universities that...
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.
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.
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 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
Emergency Notification Systems: Public Safety's Regional Intercom
Following the 2007 San Diego wildfires, the San Diego/Imperial Counties Chapter of the American Red Cross knew it was time to update their notification facilities. Using private and public funding, the Red Cross created a state-of-the-art, video-based information management system to facilitate information flow, so that Chapter personnel could communicate more effectively with each other, the public and the media.
On November 9th at 2:00pm Eastern Time (ET), the Federal Emergency Management Agency in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will conduct the first Nationwide Emergency Alert System (EAS) Test. FEMA, the FCC, and NOAA's vision for improving the EAS is incremental, which means testing the readiness and effectiveness of the EAS as it currently exists is the first step. A more effective and functional EAS requires continual...
Immediately following the attacks of 9/11, nearly 100 trained search dogs and their handlers- enlisted from 18 U.S. states - were deployed by FEMA to join the rescue efforts at the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. Alongside firemen and other teams sorting through the debris, the dogs worked tirelessly around the clock to locate survivors in the rubble - images of which deeply intrigued Dutch photographer Charlotte Dumas as the events unfolded in the news...
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...
SAR Technology has released the latest edition of "Incident Commander," their premier software program for managing search, rescue and emergency response missions. Built on the Incident Command System (ICS) and based upon years of practical experience, "Incident Commander 7.0" provides a field-proven set of Command, Operations, Planning and Logistic functions to manage every type of emergency-response mission.
It's been nearly three months since Hurricane Irene followed by a second violent storm tore through the eastern states. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) declared many zones disaster areas. Millions of homeowners were without electricity when trees and branches fell onto power lines. Trees damaged homes and vehicles as well. Clean up continues. There is nothing worse than feeling helpless without emergency equipment when disaster strikes.
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.
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.
SCRA has released the newest version of their security software, Alastar. The application delivers situational awareness and provides a common operating picture for both public safety and corporate organizations.
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.
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.
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...
What has changed in the ten years since 9/11?
...From Action News Central... A tornado warning is in effect until 6pm for...
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.
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...
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.
At last month's Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police Conference (Toronto, Ontario), the Microsoft Technology Innovation 2012 Award (MTIA) was presented the University of Windsor's Community Police for their work in incorporating technology into their organization allowing for the sharing of information in real-time between multiple organizations to increase interoperability among public safety departments - college and corresponding regional, provincial and federal first responders.
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.
Now in its third year, Verizonâ€™s Powerful Answers Award offers innovators, developers and entrepreneurs a total of $6M in cash prizes, plus the opportunity for winners to participate in an Accelerator program designed to help develop their ideas and bring solutions to market faster.
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).