Rave Mobile Safety’s Emergency Communications & Response Summit Highlights Real-World Lessons Learned From Major Incidents

May 27, 2015


Annual Gathering of Nation’s Public Safety Leaders Addresses Best Practices and New Technologies; Firsthand Experiences Shared by Former Assistant Secretary of U.S. Homeland Security, Past FEMA Deputy Administrator, Boston Police Commissioner

FRAMINGHAM, Mass., May 27, 2015 — Rave Mobile Safety (Rave), the trusted software partner for campus and public safety, today announced completion of its Emergency Communications & Response Summit, an annual event featuring public safety leaders from across the U.S. Attended by officials from 9-1-1, emergency management, law enforcement, fire and emergency medical services, it was held May 5-6 at Boston’s Omni Parker House Hotel and included interactive sessions on timely topics, aimed at increasing best-practices and adoption of new technologies for greater emergency response.

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A highlight of the Summit were notable speakers reflecting on personal experiences and lessons learned handling major disasters and terrorist attacks, as well as large metro policing efforts. This included:

  • Opening Remarks: Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts, Karyn Polito, delved into major regional events including the Boston Marathon bombings and unprecedented snow storms this past winter. Polito also discussed the value of adopting and developing new tools and public safety technologies to support enhanced emergency communications and response.
  • Innovations & Opportunities for Improved Disaster Response and Recovery: Delivered by Richard Serino, visiting fellow at Harvard’sNational Preparedness Leadership Initiative, former deputy administrator of FEMA, “founding father” of Boston’s EMS. Serino discussed response to and recovery from Super Storm Sandy and other relief efforts he coordinated. Focus was placed on his work in establishing a culture of innovation to impact event outcomes at FEMA, including working towards a more survivor-centric mindset. Serino also detailed working with groups not typically enlisted by the government, such as Occupy Wall Street, whose social media skills enhanced FEMA’s mass notification capabilities and helped reach the public with updates and assistance during Super Storm Sandy.
  • Home Sweet Homeland: Presented by Juliette Kayyem, former assistant secretary of intergovernmental affairs for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, faculty member at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, journalist and commentator for such media outlets as National Public Radio, The Boston Globe and CNN. A particular emphasis of Kayyem’s speech was that we must not be complacent in planning for future terrorist events and disasters. Through examples such as her work on the BP Oil Spill and response, she illustrated the necessity of acknowledging the inevitable, and, the critical need to be fully prepared for handling such events.
  • Latest Trends in Big City Policing: Boston Police Commissioner, William Evans, provided insight into policing large-metropolitan areas, drawing from his 33 years with the Department. Evans has had roles in such events as the successful handling of the 70-day occupation of Dewey Square by Occupy Boston, response to the Boston Marathon bombings, and capture of convicted terrorist Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. A particularly timely focus was on community-oriented policing. This included the importance of public safety and government officials’ working with community leaders, protest groups and others in order to keep potentially volatile situations from escalating.

“The information shared between attendees and speakers provided valuable insights into ways to improve operations,” said Linda Zerwin, executive director, Dupage County ETSB (Ill.). “It is refreshing to work with a company like Rave that listens so closely to customer feedback. What we say translates directly into new capabilities in our PSAPs.”

Following the first day, the Summit featured Rave’s Smart911 clients discussing specific innovations the service brings to the nation’s 9-1-1 system. Spearheaded by Charter 50 program members – the first to implement Smart911 in their state – this included open discussion on the challenges and opportunities facing public safety answering points (PSAPs), with a focus on operational and technical solutions.

The Smart911 communications and additional data platform provides unique capabilities for 9-1-1 centers to better connect with citizens, improve response times and enhance responder safety. Key to the system is a Safety Profile created by citizens that automatically displays during an emergency call to a 9-1-1 call-taker. From providing critical details about individuals experiencing medical emergencies, house fires and home invasions to improving close rates on open and abandoned calls, Smart911 has saved lives and averted tragedy nationwide, while reducing response costs. It is quickly deployed, operates on nearly all PSAP technology combinations, and is now used by more than 1,000 communities across 40 states.

“Since Smart911’s formation, Rave has actively engaged the industry in a dialogue focused on improving emergency response,” saidBrian Fontes, CEO, National Emergency Number Association (NENA). “Their approach to product development is to enlist the input of customers on the ‘front lines’ and groups with expertise such as ours. This Summit exemplifies their culture and is a valuable forum for us all.”

The Executive Director of the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO), Derek Poarch, stated: “APCO was pleased to participate in Rave’s annual advisory event and appreciate Rave’s initiative in seeking input from public safety communications professionals. As leaders in public safety communications, APCO is always looking for ways to help our members improve their operations and share information that might benefit their peers.”

To view videos of the feature speaker presentations, please visit: https://www.ravemobilesafety.com/summitstream

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