If you’re anything like me, you understand the value of mobile applications in today’s ever-changing technological world we live in. Nearly everybody in government service now has an iPhone or some type of smart device, and many of us carry one or more of these with us at all times.
When I first began speaking in public in front of large audiences and speaking at universities it did not take long before I realize that I wasn’t always getting my intended message across. Despite being an energetic and subject matter expert on what I was talking about, I quickly realize that I needed some help in preparing my speech.
When we address communications on the technical side, we have to be honest in knowing that 90% of emergency management and public safety professionals don’t have an extensive base of knowledge on how the systems work or what happens in between the time we key up the radio and end our transmission. We do however; expect that our radios will work 99.9% of the time and that someone will be able to hear and respond to our call for help. Many states across the United States have to rebuild or upgrade their existing radio communication systems due to outdated systems or exceeding the limits of the current system as our towns and agencies grow.
More than 200 attended the AFOA conference in January and heard presentations on the attendance to 2 major incidents in the US. The first involved the engine fire involving flight 383 at Chicago O’Hare airport in October 16’ and second told the story of the operation that grew from the actions of a single ‘active shooter’ at FT Lauderdale Airport only a year ago.
Although there may be similarities, every location has its own set of threats and hazards to prepare for, respond to and mitigate. A successful Emergency Management program to include exercise development is dependent on the ability to understand the threats and hazards that could impact a community. Without this understanding, emergency response will only be generally prepared to provide a meaningful response.