Whole Community Approach to Emergency Management

An important takeaway from this week is that emergency management, recovery, and response is not just a job for our public safety officials.  Whole Community Emergency Management literally involves all of us - we all live and work here.  And it’s going to be up to all of us to get back on our feet after a disaster.

In a nutshell, it involves using our community’s social, political, economic, civic (and many more) networks to deal with emergency situations.  It’s collaboration.  It’s relationships.  It’s teamwork.

Springfield is pretty good at collaboration during normal times.  It’s part of our DNA, and it’s going to serve us well during times of an emergency. 

The Chamber is proud to be a part of this process, and we will continue to stand with our friends and neighbors - in good times and bad.

July 20th, 2012 at 9:41AM by sgfcitymanager
I was so proud of the way our community’s representatives performed during this week’s self-named FEMA “Disaster Camp.”  This is a photo of Mayor Stephens giving an update to the Springfield community during one of our mock news conferences.  Realistic and customized scenarios were used.  The faculty later admitted they “threw everything” at us, but our team handled everything in stride like the professionals they are.  One faculty member said that Springfield was in the Top Three communities he’s seen in 18 years of teaching this course.  High praise for a great group from Springfield and Greene County.  I’m unbelievably proud of them all.  The sad news from Aurora, Colorado this morning was a terrible reminder of why we do this type of training.

I was so proud of the way our community’s representatives performed during this week’s self-named FEMA “Disaster Camp.” This is a photo of Mayor Stephens giving an update to the Springfield community during one of our mock news conferences. Realistic and customized scenarios were used. The faculty later admitted they “threw everything” at us, but our team handled everything in stride like the professionals they are. One faculty member said that Springfield was in the Top Three communities he’s seen in 18 years of teaching this course. High praise for a great group from Springfield and Greene County. I’m unbelievably proud of them all. The sad news from Aurora, Colorado this morning was a terrible reminder of why we do this type of training.

A fond camp farewell

Although I must admit I am relieved the disaster drill exercise is over (it was intense) and even more relieved that it was only a drill, I am also extremely glad our group participated. It provided an amazing opportunity to test our response skills, particularly during a very realistic scenario.

It was particularly emotional for me because the simulation involved a tornado that destroyed Mercy Hospital, among other Springfield landmarks. The instructors even altered a photo to look like it had been hit and broadcast it on televisions in our rooms. Although it was a somewhat painful reminder of the situation many of us experienced in Joplin, I think it was an important test.

Fortunately, the instructors said we were among the best overall team they had EVER tested. We took that as high praise from a team we came to know as passionate and dedicated professionals. I’m convinced these instructors are among the best, if not THE best, emergency response trainers in the world.

Leaving tomorrow will be a little bittersweet. Not only did we have the opportunity to train together, but we also got to know one another better. We forged new bonds and strengthened partnerships. For example, I have a much better understanding of the American Red Cross and volunteer operations than I did before the training. And I now have not only faces to go with names, but true friendships to go with those faces!

Many of you reading this may never know the depth and breadth of talent at the Springfield-Greene County Office of Emergency Management. Director Ryan Nicholls and his team works incredibly hard to get our community ready and prepared for any type of disaster.

Thank you FEMA for hosting this experience and for your tireless work to help those before, during and after devastating disasters.

sgfpio:

Participants gathered for a class photo prior to the day’s continuation of the disaster drill. The drill simulated several events including a tornado, two public health scares, and a hazmat incident - all happening virtually simultaneously. Instructors promise to layer on more challenges in day two. Stay tuned to find out what happens to Springfield in the pretend disaster!

sgfpio:

Participants gathered for a class photo prior to the day’s continuation of the disaster drill. The drill simulated several events including a tornado, two public health scares, and a hazmat incident - all happening virtually simultaneously. Instructors promise to layer on more challenges in day two. Stay tuned to find out what happens to Springfield in the pretend disaster!

The customized disaster drill was in full swing by Wednesday afternoon. A surprise real thunderstorm caused a moment’s pause in the drill to assure participants that the sirens they were hearing were not for a real tornado.

Quote of the Day

“Five minutes before the party is not the time to learn to dance.” Snoopy 1982

July 18th, 2012 at 4:46PM by sgfcitymanager

Team PIO Touted as “Best”

The Disaster Camp (Emergency Management Institute) faculty member who is working with our PIOs said today during our post-exercise debrief that this was the best team of PIOs he has worked with during his 17 years of teaching this course! Way to go, Team PIO!

July 18th, 2012 at 3:04PM by sgfpublicworks

Real/Fake Storms

sgfpublicworks:

We are fighting a simulated storm in Springfield while enduring a real storm in Maryland!

July 18th, 2012 at 1:25PM by sgfpolicechief
sgfpio:

Today was a just a warm-up drill, but we got the opportunity to divide into our separate teams and run a quick scenario. This photo captures a moment inside the Emergency Operations Center simulation room at the National Emergency Training Center.

sgfpio:

Today was a just a warm-up drill, but we got the opportunity to divide into our separate teams and run a quick scenario. This photo captures a moment inside the Emergency Operations Center simulation room at the National Emergency Training Center.