They asked for a Subject Matter Expert to speak on this topic. What you got was me
THE DISCLAIMER Some assembly required. Use only as directed. No other warranty expressed or implied. Do not use while operating a motor vehicle or heavy equipment. May be too intense for some viewers. This is a test of the emergency broadcast system. Filmed in front of a live, studio audience. Patent pending. For external use only. If ingested, induce vomiting. May contain information that is confidential, privileged or unsuitable for overly sensitive persons with low self-esteem, no sense of humor or take themselves too seriously. Excessive use of laxatives may be hazardous. Cats with flame throwers coming out of their butts may be dangerous. There are many, many more people than me who can do this better. We don’t have all the answers. In fact, anyone who says he does probably should be suspect. Your mileage may vary. Actual cash value of this presentation is what you make of it. In other words, if you screw it up, you’re on your own.
LET’S GET SERIOUS I’m not trying to be funny here. "There is a man in the world who will never be turned down... he is the man who delivers the goods."
With Money and Authority, anyone can do dammed near anything.
Without much of either, it gets a little more challenging.
For the majority of my career in Government, if you have a good thing no one will stop you from doing it. They will however not necessarily fund it. Everyone wants the fire put out. the thief caught. their garbage picked up. the snow plowed off their street. to sleep peacefully in their beds at night because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf Not everyone is willing to pay the bill after you accomplish it.
But we didn’t have the cash. Oh, and there’s this thing called “Local Autonomy”, “Home Rule”, or whatever you want to call it back where I call home. There are 8 counties in Connecticut, but they are not much more than lines on a map.
169 Cities and Towns + The State = 170 ways of Doing Things
Let me tell you a little about CRCOG The Capitol Region Council of Governments (CRCOG) is guided by the chief elected officials of our 29 Metro Hartford municipalities. The mayors, first selectmen, and town council chairmen who make up our governing Policy Board recognize that the future of our individual members is tied to the future of our region. Our members have collaborated for more than 30 years on a wide range of projects to benefit our towns individually and the region as a whole. CRCOG serves the Capitol Region and all our municipalities by: We are established under the Connecticut General Statutes as a voluntary association of municipal governments serving the City of Hartford and 28 surrounding suburban and rural communities. Our region is 760 square miles in size and it houses approximately 735,000 people. CRCOG is dedicated to expanding the concept of voluntary cooperation among its member municipalities as the means to successfully respond to many of the region’s pressing governmental and public challenges.
Let me tell you a little about CREPC, The Capitol Region Emergency Planning Committee Forty-two communities are involved and have produced a Regional Emergency Deployment (RED) Plan for the region. Twenty-eight municipalities use CREPC as their Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC). It operates under the states delegation of authority to CRCOG as a Regional Planning Agency, which member towns are signatories to. This allows CREPC to operate on their behalf, on limited issues. We as the Capitol Region also qualify as a Urban Area Security Initiative. (UASI) UASI addresses the unique multi-disciplinary planning, operations, equipment, training and exercise needs of high-threat, high-density urban areas, and assists them in building and sustaining capabilities to prevent, protect against, respond to and recover from threats or acts of terrorism. We also qualify for a Metropolitan Medical Response System (MMRS): The MMRS program assists designated local, metropolitan areas to sustain and further enhance regionally integrated all- hazards mass casualty preparedness and response capabilities to achieve adequate progress in meeting designated target capabilities; increased integration with statewide mass casualty initiatives and capabilities; and effective coordination with mutually supporting program guidance from the Department of Health and Human Services and other relevant federal agencies. Our “Real” name is Hartford Urban Area Security Initiative Incident Management Team DEMHS Region 3 Or just CT-IMT 3
The net effect on my team is These are mechanisms for funding. That’s the good part. The bad part is there are lots of people who got in line with their hand out before us. Money flows like running water around the capitol of Connecticut. Very little of it flows to CT IMT3. We can buy a command post for dogs, (sorry Pete) but we can’t buy paper clips due to our funding structure. We can buy computers, but not software to use on them. The state is standardized on WEBEOC, but we can’t get an air card to access it. The state bought a lot of Decontamination trailers and foam trailers. They gave them to fire departments A few sit on flat tires or up on blocks. Did I mention Connecticut has a few peculiarities?
What do we offer as an IMT? Connecticut’s “Home Rule” system leaves the authority and responsibility at the local level No agency has all the resources it needs to manage a significant incident The team is a tool for LOCALS to manage LOCAL incidents using standard accepted protocols
All this is leading up to what I came to talk about- What we needed to up fit our team to become operational And how we did it without a lot of money The NWCG courses are great. But you have to apply them to your specific environment. The Wild Land Fire system reminds me of the Army. That’s a good thing to me. But reality is in a state where there are 170 fiefdoms, that is one hours drive top to bottom, and maybe two hours drive left to right, with 3.5 Million people in it, we won’t be calling for Logistics like a Colorado Burn. We are in an urban environment for the most part. Some of the hazards are not as obvious as they may seem.
Agency Reps Communications Unit Leader Resource Unit Leader Technical Specialists IMT Organization Incident Commander / Unified Command Liaison Officer Public Information Officer Safety Officer Operations Section Chief Planning Section Chief Logistics Section Chief Finance/ Administration Section Chief Command Staff General Staff Functions, not people
What is an Incident Management Team?Team A scalable group of specially trained & experienced individuals who work with the existing organization to provide for the command, control, coordination, support and / or management of the incident organization & it’s resources to address the needs of the incident / event with maximum effectiveness, efficiency, and safety.
What does a team REALLY NEED? Competency & Commitment Sensitivity to local conditions and egos Talent Determination, and a touch of stubbornness Inclusiveness & Diversity Perseverance Resourcefulness Creativity A touch of MacGyver
What did our team REALLY NEED? Due to complex relationships, complicated statutory authority, and convoluted funding sources, we really didn’t need much. Most existed, but needed to be pulled together. Some was laying around. Good Communications Documentation Ability-Paper or Plastic
How did we do it? 1. Had Support from above and around 2. Left Egos back at the ranch 3. Got the right people in the right places. 4.Built credibility through demonstrated results –“Stuff” is nice to have –But its your people that make you a team –Logistics (in our application, anyways) SUPPORTS THE TEAM
Regional Agency Members on Current CT IMT- 3 Ellington Fire Department Manchester Emergency Management West Hartford /Bloomfield Health District West Hartford Fire Department Middletown Emergency Management Connecticut Canine Search and Rescue Private Sector Business East Hartford Fire Department CRCOG/CREPC Staff Manchester CERT Bloomfield Public Works Connecticut Department of Homeland Security Bloomfield Police Department Regional Higher Education (Multiple) Regional CERT members
CT IMT- 3 Let me tell you about my team. First, we got the people Second, we got some stuff Third, we learned
We try to use plastic, not paper. (computerized vs. paper forms ) Due to our friends at CRCOG, (Thanks, Dan!) we were able to buy some laptops. But they don’t have to be new, or even laptops. More important was the military spec plastic case.
Routers and Network The components may be in boxes, but they were not new but recycled and left over from other IT areas. Our Team Commander recognized early on if we were going electronic, we could use an IT section. A local college was very helpful.
My experience with many regionally funded projects going back over 20 years, is that starting it there always seems to be money. Buying stuff isn’t that hard. But SUSTAINING it as a SOLID, SELF SUSTAINING PROGRAM takes Money, Commitment, and It helps to scrounge.
To wrap it up Give me some good people, and we can do anything Give me money, and we can do it faster, better, and make you look good too.
About Me… I grew up when your parents sent you out to play on a concrete playground. My father was a doctor, and ask anyone who’s father was a doctor; you only saw a “real” doctor if it was REALLY bad. I’m somewhat proud of the fact I’ve been a grunt, and have done more than a few things the hard way. David Gofstein Logistics Section Chief CT IMT-3 Dgofstein@sbcglobal.net
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