Accountability Solution Comes Through For Urban Shield

Wrap up by Peter Caliri

Last month, Higgins and their Salamander Accountability solutions were on display during the Boston Urban Shield operations. While Boston area police, fire, EMT and emergency management professionals were participating in multiple simulations throughout Boston including the cities to the north and south to test readiness and responsiveness, Higgins accountability was keeping track of all the movements. Together with Salamander, Higgins’ Intelligent Accountability suite provides tools to identify people and resources. Incident commanders running the operation knew who was who and why they were there. The TRACK suite then manages these “TAGGED” people and resources at the scene by proving the “who, what, when, where, and why” of everyone and everything. This ensures that Everyone Goes Home TM. Lastly, when the incident is over the REPORT suite presents assessment data – How good are we? What can we do better? This year’s Urban Shield exercise was the largest to date for Boston since the program’s inception in 2011. Rene Fielding, director of the city’s office of emergency management told the Boston Globe “We saw in the Marathon, it’s critical for the bomb squads, the SWAT teams, EMS, to be coordinated in what they’re doing, to be able to talk to each other (Lotan, 2014).” Higgins accountability solutions successfully helped to ensure site security and track all personnel at the incidents, including first responders from 60 agencies. As over 2,000 responders entered the scenes, everyone was accounted for. The Higgins Incident ID badging solution “was significant in tracking staff and participants for finance purposes and accountability,” said City of Boston Training & Exercise Coordinator Carmela Hinderaker. “We thought the Rapid Tags, mobile application, and the website management system were excellent features. We also appreciate how [Higgins] made themselves available to us, especially since we were working in a short time period. They were critical in the planning and execution of this full-scale exercise.”