From: DES Director – Robert Kagel
As the New Year begins, I am writing to discuss some of the things that we do in the Department of Emergency Services (DES) that are available to you to assist with our common goal of helping to provide for the safety and security of the public. For many of you, this is a short refresher. For those new to your position, this will give you some ideas of services we provide beyond the receipt and dispatch of more than 1,000 emergency calls for assistance every day.
The Computer Aided Dispatch System (CADS) is the system that the emergency response organizations use to pre-plan incident responses. The CADS also provides the foundation for the countywide emergency response resource listing that is required by the National Incident Management System (NIMS). In August 2016, we switched to a new CADS which provides emergency responders enhanced data exchange capability while positioning Chester County to transition to the Federl Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) program that will allow citizens wider access to 9-1-1. If you would like more information about CADS, contact Brad Reinert at (610) 344-5595.
Premise Information is a program whereby citizens with unique conditions at their home (elderly person, chronic illness, mobility challenges and/or language barriers) can enter the information into the CADS so that it is immediately available to the 9-1-1 Telecommunicator and emergency responders when a 9-1-1 call is placed. If you would like more information about Premise Information, contact Brad Reinert at (610) 344-5595.
The ReadyChesco Citizen Notification is the system which sends text, e-mail, and automated calls to residents advising them of evolving situations such as the need to shelter-in-place, missing persons, or localized situations. The system allows citizens to selectively choose the types of alerts they wish to receive and the communications mediums over which they wish to receive the alerts. The system picks up listed, landline telephone numbers. Persons with unlisted numbers, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), or exclusive use of cell phones who would like to be included must register at www.readychesco.org. This system is also available, at no cost, to your organization to reach your constituents. If you would like more information about the ReadyChesco Citizen Notification, contact Patty Mains at (610) 344-5150.
Comm-1 is the mobile communications unit that responds as requested by Incident Commanders to support communications and planning for either emergencies or pre-planned events. If you would like more information about Comm-1, contact Brad Reinert at (610) 344-5595.
The Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) Team provides trained professionals to help emergency service providers handle stress. CISM provides a confidential, non-evaluative discussion of the involvement, thoughts, reactions, and feelings resulting from an incident. If you would like more information about CISM, contact Pat Davis at (610) 344-4619.
The Incident Support Team (IST) is comprised of DES personnel and emergency responders who are organized, trained, and equipped to support the Incident Commander with preparing National Incident Management System (NIMS) compliant Incident Action Plans (IAPs) and After Action Reports (AARs). If you would like more information about the IST, contact Beau Crowding at (610) 344-5148.
The Rehab Trailers are self-contained units which bring equipment, supplies, and personnel to establish incident rehabilitation during emergencies such as fires, mass casualty events, protracted law enforcement activities, or pre-planned events. If you would like more information about the Rehab Trailers, contact Beau Crowding at (610) 344-5148.
The Mass Casualty Trailers and Pod Trucks carry supplies such as bandages, back boards, and oxygen for major medical events. If you would like more information about Mass Casualty preparations, contact Harry Moore at (610) 344-5049.
The Hazardous Materials (HazMat) Response Team is a state certified team that is organized, trained, and equipped to stop leaks of hazardous materials and to provide the Incident Commander with HazMat expertise as required. If you would like more information about the HazMat Team, contact Jeff Emmons at (610) 344-5086.
The Traffic Control Support Trailer is stocked with traffic barricades and traffic signs that can be used by municipalities or emergency responders for traffic control. If you would like more information about the Traffic Control Support Trailer, contact Bill Turner at (610) 344-5011.
The Exercise Development Team is organized, trained, and equipped to help plan and conduct exercises. If you would like more information about the Exercise development Team, contact Bill Turner at (610) 344-5011.
Emergency Management Planning Assistance is available to help municipalities maintain current Emergency Operations Plans (EOPs) as required by NIMS and Pennsylvania Title 35, the Emergency Management Code. If you would like more information about Emergency Management Planning, contact Bill Turner at (610) 344-5011. We can make the EOP preparation process fairly painless.
Emergency Management Training is offered every quarter on a variety of topics. Identical classes are offered during the day and evening. We also offer periodic NIMS training that is required by the federal government for municipalities to remain eligible for many federal grant programs. If you would like more information about Emergency Management Training, contact Bill Turner at (610) 344-5011.
Damage Assessment Teams are organized, trained, and equipped to provide PEMA with post event damage statistics as the first step in applying for federal assistance. The County Damage Assessment Teams will work in conjunction with municipal officials to provide quick and accurate information to get the recovery process started as smoothly as possible. If you would like more information about the Damage Assessment Teams, contact Bill Turner (610) 344-5011.
Knowledge Center is a secure web based incident management tool that provides information sharing and resource management locally, regionally and across the commonwealth. If you would like more information on the use of Knowledge Center, contact Bill Turner at (610) 344-5011.
Graphic Information System (GIS) support. DES has capability to provide emergency,
pre-event, and pre-incident mapping support through the GIS system. We can also provide aerial imagery through a system called Pictometry. If you would like more information on the use of GIS support or to gain access to Pictometry, contact Dave Sekkes at (610) 344-4485.
Public Education Team is available to schools, municipal events, and other organizations to discuss how citizens should be prepared to correctly use 9-1-1 and how they should prepare now for any disaster. If you would like more information about the Public Education Team, contact Patty Mains at (610) 344-5150.
Public Safety Training Campus was created to provide Public Safety Personnel with a central location to obtain quality training and education. The goal of the campus continues to be providing these first responders with the most current training and education available so they can continue to provide superior services ensuring the safety of our communities. For upcoming training information please go to destraining.chesco.org. If you would like more information about the campus, contact John Gillespie at (610) 344-4241.
I hope that you find the above information helpful. In addition to the points of contact listed with each program or service, please let us know if you would like to visit the DES. It is easy to arrange a tour and or briefing of our operation. To set up a tour, please call Amy Amer at (610) 344-5093. Thank you for your continued interest in public safety and I look forward to working with you in 2017 and beyond.