Safety platform helps Michigan dispatchers during disasters
March 13, 2015
Each winter, Eaton County, Mich., faces inclement weather. Eaton County Central Dispatch (ECCD) was able to better handle heavy winter storms in 2014 after deploying Rave Mobile Safety’s preparedness platform, SmartPrepare. The platform engaged citizens, making them active participants in emergency planning and preparedness. Using the secure online registration portal, citizens entered information about themselves, their families and any information they wanted to share with emergency managers.
Residents requiring electricity for critical medical conditions, and those lacking transportation for evacuation, can share such details.
The information enables ECCD Director April Heinze and her team to identify and arrange resources required by vulnerable residents.
In all emergencies, Heinze’s staff must coordinate with multiple entities to get first responders to a scene. During heavy snowfalls, they have to send a snowplow in front of an ambulance and fire engine, which can stretch resources thin.
With SmartPrepare, residents can pre-register and note their emergency needs, mobility issues and other details, thus allowing the county to prioritize plowing activities. With the platform, once arterials are cleared, the county can more effectively serve residents.
Heinze says the platform offers additional benefits. “We have farmers with large equipment, and SmartPrepare allows us to tap into those resources if our own are maxed,” she told GPN. “Also, with large-scale farming, there can be dangerous chemicals on-site. We can now know this and make pre-plans, such as setting up run-cards for the fire department, detailing how to handle a particular situation. The system is all computerized and available immediately.”