Fusionpoint Enables Interoperability Among US Coast Guard, Canada Customs and Cities of Detroit and Windsor

Reprinted from The University of Windsor’s UWindsor Prepare newsletter (September 2011, Volume 1, Issue 2) available online here.

On August 23rd and 24th The University of Windsor utilized its emergency operations software when the City of Windsor, US Coast Guard, Canada Customs and Detroit Department of Homeland Security collaborated to test emergency preparedness on the Detroit River.

Exercise “Detroit River Readiness” dealt with a waterborne rescue and explosion on the U.S.-based tour boat, the S.S. Detroit Princess in the Detroit River. The exercise tested the potential impact of such a disaster on both sides of the river. There were simulated casualties in the river which the US Coast Guard and Windsor Port Authority “rescued” along with the assistance of several local Police Boat crews.

The University as well as Detroit and Windsor all activated their Emergency Operations Centres and had a chance to communicate using the University’s WebEOC software. Response support workers also shared a common situational GIS map using the Fusionpoint software acquired by the University and shared with the City of Windsor and County of Essex.

The exercise coincided with the annual Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police conference which was held in Windsor the same week. While presently, all partners in the region are pulling together their after-action analyses, the high-profile exercise went extremely well, a notable point being the effective on-line communication between the Windsor Police site command post and the City’s Emergency Operations Centre. The campus Emergency Operations Centre served as the frontline technical support hub and several members of the campus’ Emergency Response Group were present to practice using the software and share real-time information with their regional colleagues.

The exercise was both exciting for participants and observers on both sides of the river and truly demonstrates the University’s commitment to fostering regional and civic partnerships in an important and practical context.

EmerGeo Exhibiting at “The Fifth Canadian Public Safety Interoperability Workshop: A CITIG National Forum”

Ottawa, Ontario – December 4-7, 2011 – Mr. Mike Morrow, President of EmerGeo Solutions Inc, will co-exhibit with Futureshield at the Fifth Canadian Public Safety Interoperability Workshop.

The Workshop aims to again bring together a broad base of public safety and emergency management practitioners to develop a mutual understanding of the key voice and data interoperability issues facing today’s public safety sector. With a focus on information exchange, topic-specific discussion and interactive break-outs, the fifth national workshop aims to support and promote the transfer of best practices and experience, and the development of a more unified approach to public safety interoperability across the country, between nations and internationally.

The Workshop will have hands-on sessions designed to help gain an understanding of, or work toward making progress on, key issues, including:
• National and cross-border interoperability planning
• Provincial, regional and local interoperability strategic planning
• Interoperability and the challenge of governance
• Trends in interoperability technology, including both voice and data related issues
• Practical advice on running interoperability training & exercises
• Spectrum management and issues related to the digital economy
• Situational awareness, common/user defined operating pictures, GIS systems and blue force tracking
• 700 MHz Broadband for Mission Critical Public Safety Data
• Converging Mission Critical voice and data networks

Event Location:
The Fairmont Château Laurier
1 Rideau Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1N 8S7
Tel: 800-267-7880 or 613-548-3605

More conference information is available at http://www.cacp.ca/index/eventsconferences.

EmerGeo Speaking at Red Cross Provincial Emergency Conference

Kingston, Ontario – November 6-9, 2011 – Mr. Mike Morrow, President of EmerGeo Solutions Inc, will host a panel of experts to present a joint abstract titled “Lessons from the 2011 Red River Floods & Exercise Central Gateway 1″. The presentations will reveal how technology and work-flow need to work together to ensure effective communication and true interoperability during disasters. Speakers from the Province of Manitoba and University of Windsor will review recommendations from the 2011 Exercise Central Gateway 1 US-Canada Cross Border Exercise and discuss developing an inter-agency approach to geo-spatial-based situational awareness for emergencies like the 2011 Manitoba Flood event. Topics covered will include key areas for improvement including the need for standardized plans & procedures, identifying information needs and data sharing agreements early, processes for creating map data products, and issues around storing and distributing information among stakeholders.

The purpose of this annual conference is to present emerging trends in emergency management and integrated approaches in disaster preparedness, prevention, mitigation, response and recovery.

Conference sessions will assist with:
• Developing new strategies & promoting awareness
• Providing information, tools and solution development to common problems
• creating network opportunities
• Sharing of experiences with colleagues in other disaster management disciplines

The conference will have a series of plenary sessions, expert presentations and workshops.

Event Location:
The Ambassador Conference Resort
1550 Princess Street
Kingston, Ontario K7M 9E3
Tell: 800-267-7880 or 613-548-3605

More conference information is available at http://www.redcross.ca/ontemconference/.