In The News This Week
This week in industry news, Fire Chief published a piece on how interoperability issues hindered police and fire response to a deadly wildfire that destroyed parts of the Great Smokey Mountain National Park back in November of 2016. The After Action Review, commissioned by Sevier County and the city of Gatlinburg, identified several disaster response communication challenges that increased wildfire spread and damage to local infrastructure.
Key Highlights from the Review:
- Cell phone communication outages contributed to a delay of the public broadcast of the evacuation message for Gatlinburg. Furthermore, because this event was a non-weather emergency message, the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) could not be used for the evacuation.
- Insufficient radio interoperability among city, county, state and federal agencies created critical obstacles to direct communication. Mutual aid responding agencies were unable to communicate with one another and the established Emergency Operations Center or the Gatlinburg Police Department Communications Center.
- At times, the radio communications related to the fire and response overloaded the Sevier County radio system. Some busy signals occurred due to the abundance of radio traffic and the lack of available radio frequencies for the Gatlinburg Police Department.
Fortunately, the well-established relationship between local responders and the community did help overcome many of the existing communication struggles. Most of the responders had operated or trained together before the fire and were able to develop a coordinate common goal.
Read the full article here and make sure you are prepared and trained for the next large-scale natural disaster.
This Week From the Rave Team
Read some of the stories our writers were most excited to share with you this week. To access all of our stories, check out our blog.
Why the Airline Industry Needs An Alerting System
In early November of 2017, a lithium ion battery exploded in a suitcase near security checkpoint at Orlando International Airport. The explosion raised fears of a shooting, inciting chaos throughout the entire airport. The airport couldn't notify employees of the situation or that the threat had passed, leaving travelers without information. A mass communication platform would have increased response time, help spread accurate information among employees and passengers, and prevented confusion and chaos in the terminals.
Keeping School Children Safe Outdoors with an Emergency App
With the season for outdoor recess in full swing, school administrators need to put plans into place to keep the children in their care safe from danger and injury. They should consider the most effective ways for seeking emergency help when unforeseeable emergencies occur. Implementing an emergency safety app is a great way to open lines of communication between key administrators, teachers, and health services.
Rave in the News
The ridesharing service Uber announced Thursday that it is unveiling a pilot program in Denver, Colorado aimed at improving rider safety. The company is partnering with RapidSOS to connect users with local emergency services with the tap of a button. The service, among many things, will send the user's location, description of the vehicle and Uber trip details to 911 dispatchers. The new partnership will integrate with the existing Rave platform to provide Denver 911 dispatchers with even more critical information during an emergency.
Executive Director of Denver 911 Athena Butler says this new location data is a game-changer. What does this more accurate location information mean? According to Butler, "Seconds save lives. If that information presents automatically to us, that makes for a more successful outcome for that citizen who has called us in distress"
You can access the story here.