Interoperable Crisis Management Solution Used to Manage Inauguration Security

Feb. 1, 2005
Innovative software crisis management systems interoperated to help manage law enforcement activities, provide real-time communications, and serve as a platform to collaborate and coordinate public health activities and information sharing between local, regional and national agencies at George W. Bush's inauguration on Jan. 20.

The software, from E Team Inc., supported both law enforcement and public health efforts, and was activated in Emergency Operations Centers (EOCs) at the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), the George Washington University Medical Center, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS). The E Team systems allowed law enforcement, government and health agencies to share information and coordinate multi-agency law enforcement and public health response during the 4-day period surrounding the event.

"To manage the personnel on the ground, on rooftops and in the air, MPD's E Team-enabled Joint Operations Command Center was connected to 15 E Team-based command centers deployed throughout the national capital region (NCR). Using E Team, real-time information was pushed to Joint Regional Information Exchange System (JRIES) and Law Enforcement

Online (LEO) users, providing a critical link to organizations that used those systems," said Lt. Erich Miller, MPD. "As the main source for the gathering and disbursement of security information to more than 6,000 state, federal and local officers, E Team enabled MPD to deliver a collaborative, effective response to maximize security for the presidential inauguration."

This E Team deployment was significant on two fronts. First, the E Team software supported five different organizations with multiple methodologies and requirements – one in law enforcement incident management and the others in health incident management – in both the U.S. federal government and private sector. Secondly, each of the five emergency operations centers (law enforcement and public health) was connected to allow the individual EOCs to share information in real time. E Team's data-sharing capabilities enable users to securely and selectively share information with other systems and provide document and access control options. Shared documents are automatically updated across all participating systems so all users continue to receive the most updated information.

Due to its scope and size, the inauguration was designated as a National Special Security Event (NSSE) by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the designation was extended to the swearing-in ceremony, the inaugural parade, the official reviewing stand on Pennsylvania Avenue and the inaugural balls. E Team has been deployed and activated for five NSSEs in the last 8 months.

E Team provided incident tracking, intelligence reporting and investigations, force protection capabilities, infrastructure monitoring (including hospitals, shelters, road closures and transit systems), resource and asset management capabilities for human and capital assets, and situation reporting for agencies and jurisdictions.

"Since all activities during the activation were recorded in E Team, the solution provided us with a quick and effective way to submit information for reimbursement immediately after the event according to NIMS guidelines," continued Miller. "Using E Team, MPD was able to immediately report the incidents, planning and action associated with the activation."

E Team also provided support for both the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and Hospital Emergency Incident Command System (HEICS). The software maximizes public health emergency preparedness and response by offering information sharing and communication capabilities; action planning; organizational charts and staffing tools; interactive job action sheets; medical incident and emergency room event tracking; critical asset and inventory tracking; infrastructure and hospital reporting (allowing users to record, track and coordinate the use and assignment of beds, hospital staff, and other critical components of the hospital and emergency room); and notification and alerts about threats, emergencies, required response or new information in the system. E Team also serves as an easily accessible central repository for hospital and agency response plans, procedures, documents and directories.

"This interoperability demonstration has huge implications for hospital emergency preparedness and response," said Dr. Christina Catlett, medical director of the Center for Emergency Preparedness at the George Washington University Medical Center. "Actions that were previously done inefficiently by telephone or fax, such as surveillance reporting to the Department of Health, situational updates from police/fire/EMS, communication with other hospital command centers, and resource requesting from assets such as the Strategic National Stockpile, can now be done electronically in real time."

As the first presidential inauguration to be held since 9/11, the 2005 Bush inauguration has had the heaviest security ever, and required the highest level of readiness by law enforcement and public health personnel to monitor, analyze, and respond to incidents in real time, said Matt Walton, vice chairman and founder of E Team. "Under these circumstances, sharing information between agencies is critical, and by using E Team, law enforcement and public health personnel gain two important advantages that allow them to have an edge in emergency response – the ability to view a common operational picture and to share information quickly and effectively among all organizations," he added.

About the Author

Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith is the former content director of EHS Today, and is currently the EHSQ content & community lead at Intelex Technologies Inc. She has written about occupational safety and health and environmental issues since 1990.

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