Tough Questions for Emergency Managers in Wake of Baltimore Unrest

In many ways, the response to Baltimore’s unrest in the wake of the untimely death of Freddie Gray should be cause for commendation. On Monday, April 27, the City seemed out of control. Car fires burned through West Baltimore. A CVS at the corner of North and Penn Avenues…

Lessons for FirstNet from CES 2015 - When LTE coverage is not enough.

For FirstNet, simply providing coverage might not be enough, it will also be called upon to provide application programming interfaces (APIs) that will function as the backbone for connecting apps, devices, and the public safety “Internet of Things” (IoT). This realization came to us at AT&T’s annual…

Information Security for Emergency Management - Part 2

In Part 1 of this series, we posed the question: Can Information Security (InfoSec) activities and processes benefit and inform emergency management practices? Emergency managers already engage in threat assessment processes through the Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (HIRA) and Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (THIRA). This InfoSec…

Information Security for Emergency Management - Part 1

We think of Information Security (“InfoSec”) as a single standard set of problems, processes, and practices that apply to every organization and situation; that InfoSec means the same thing for retailers, corporations, financial institutions, government, and the military. So it seems like an obvious conclusion that InfoSec is the same…

Agile Development for Public Safety Teams - Example in Practice

We have all participated in the intimidatingly big planning projects that can so easily run amok. Money, resources, and precious time are too frequently wasted in these omnibus projects. However, we would like to bring you a new playbook to fight back with in your planning projects. In our previous…

Agile Development for Public Safety Teams

Imagine if your public safety team could drive innovation, stop being reactive, accelerate pace and be more responsive, wouldn't that be better? Wouldn't it be nice to keep pace with the technology, and be able to deliver the type of results we see start-ups and private industry producing? Can government…

The CDC Needs to Alter its Paradigms for Patient Triage and Isolation and/or Treatment

In a Wall Street Journal article entitled: Ebola Forces African Hospital to Revamp, Retrain with headline: Sierra Leone Clinic Changes Layout, Protocols to Protect Health Workers, by Peter Wonacott on Oct. 26, 2014 7:43 p.m. ET, the author described how, with plywood, the hospital in Rokupa, Sierra Leone…

Your State's FirstNet Consultation is Happening Now

Responding to the RFI and Public Comment are Not Optional To all the National Telecommunication and Information Administration ("NTIA") State Level Implementation Grant Program ("SLIGP") teams hard at work today, consider this: Responding to the FirstNet RFI and request for public comment may be one of your only real opportunities…

Preparing for Consultation with FirstNet from the MDInterOP Team

1. Start planning early for senior leadership attendance. If you and your state want to invite your State’s Governor and Cabinet staff, work with the Governor's scheduler to pick dates and times that he/she would be able to attend. Then work with FirstNet to pick from those dates.…

PowerPointLESS

The MD InterOp Team has spent the last few months delivering our PowerPoint presentation to stakeholders across the State. A lot of people have approached us afterwards to ask how we decided to put our slide deck together. To grossly oversimplify - We focused on the "message" and created a…

4 Things Public Safety Can Learn From Startups

We live in the era of the "disruptive" startup. Everywhere you look - from headline news to your local coffee shop, folks are talking about relatively small groups of underfunded "Davids" toppling entrenched "Goliaths." Startup culture is rapidly becoming the culture of our world - with everybody from Fortune 500…

6 Things Emergency Managers Can Do to Ensure Inclusive Emergency Preparedness

Note that this is not intended nor should it be construed as legal advice. Specific questions regarding proposed policies, procedures, and legal issues related to a jurisdiction’s legal requirements should be directed to the appropriate counsel for the jurisdiction, agency, department, or organization in question. In my previous blog…

ADA Claims Cause a Shift in Planning Culture

Note that this is not intended nor should it be construed as legal advice. Specific questions regarding proposed policies, procedures, and legal issues related to a jurisdiction’s legal requirements should be directed to the appropriate counsel for the jurisdiction, agency, department, or organization in question. The previous blog in…

The ADA and Personal Preparedness Planning

This July marks the 24th Anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) – a law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. Emergency managers should be working to ensure that children and adults with disabilities, and others who have access and functional needs have equal access…

FirstNet Traffic Update: Plan for Congestion - Part 3

Final in article in a three-part series on Prioritization Read Part 1 of "FirstNet Traffic Update: Plan for Congestion" Read Part 2 of "FirstNet Traffic Update: Plan for Congestion" Getting FirstNet Prioritization Right If public safety does not clearly voice how it wants FirstNet prioritization to operate, there is a…

FirstNet Traffic Update: Plan for Congestion - Part 2

The Second Article in a Three-Part Series on Prioritization Read Part 1 of "FirstNet Traffic Update: Plan for Congestion" Prioritization - A powerful tool for FirstNet to master One of the key differences between the Land Mobile Radio (LMR) networks currently used by public safety and the Long-Term Evolution (LTE)…

FirstNet Traffic Update: Plan for Congestion

First in a Three-Part Series on Prioritization Why will prioritization be important? The Potential for traffic jams. One of the key differences between the Land Mobile Radio (LMR) networks currently used by public safety and the Long-Term Evolution (LTE) network that FirstNet is building, is the ability to prioritize network…

Electronic Health Data is Coming to Emergency Management

The tools available to emergency managers and first responders are growing due to the increased use of technology. Electronic health records ("EHR") and health data are not traditional tools in the emergency manager’s toolbox, but make no mistake, EHR and health data will be part of the future of…

We have the technology - Part 3

Give the people what they want: timely, accurate, and relevant information! In an era of information overload, people – emergency management professionals and members of the community alike – ignore information that has the appearance of being irrelevant. Additional factors that cause us to ignore messaging include disaster amnesia, and the fact…

We have the technology - Part 2

Collaboration - Now in Technicolor! Emergency managers widely agree that interpersonal relationships are critical to successful emergency response and recovery, and that the opportunities to meet in-person make all the difference. Practically speaking, however, it is difficult to regularly meet in-person – after all, we can only attend a few statewide…