Most public safety agencies (fire, law enforcement, and EMS) in the U.S. and Canada do fairly well in using their communication tools, e.g., land mobile radios and wireless devices, for the day-to-day emergency incidents to which they respond. Those same entities, however, can experience real communications challenges when faced with a large-scale or complex emergency events that require the response of additional resources from multiple agencies. Those scenarios imply multiple different technologies and challenges mais appear when merging them to communicate easily.
Topics: emergency management, Emergency Operations Center, emergency management agency, Communications problems, Mutual aid operations, Emergency managers, Hurricane Irma, Hurricane Harvey, Public safety communications challenges
Working in Emergency Management, Fire, EMS, or law enforcement we have all, at some point in our career, likely been in our local or state emergency operations center, but what goes into building these command centers? More importantly, how are the EOCs of the future going to be equipped?
Throughout the past ten years, public safety has drastically seen many changes that not only affect the way we conduct operations but also in how we must conduct ourselves.
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During the early part of May 2016, there was a very serious wildfire that broke out in the area of Fort McMurray in Alberta, Canada. I have just read through the KPMG Fort McMurray Wildfire Report. KPMG was hired to do an after-action review of the entire event, make recommendations, and find lessons learned from this massive fire event. For the purposes of this article, I am going to look at the issues that were faced by the fire official from the communications aspects of the fire.