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August 20, 2014
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How one software suite can help manage emergency incidents

Using emergency incident management software can connect agencies and safeguard lives

The following is paid content sponsored by Incident Response Technologies (IRT).

By Mary Rose Roberts, Product Editor

If an emergency incident isn’t managed properly, it could mean the difference between life and death. That’s why it is important to provide first responders with the right tools before, during and after a large-scale emergency.

“Incident Management involves identifying, analyzing and correcting hazards in order to minimize the adverse impacts of a disaster.” These incidents are normally dealt with by an incident response team or an Incident Management Team (IMT), which are identified and trained before an incident occurs.

An incident command structure normally consists of command, operations, planning, logistics and finance/administrative sections—all of which need to communicate seamlessly and effectively during a response. To be successful, the incident command staff needs an effective incident management plan to limit the interruption to civilian life an emergency may cause.  

Without effective incident management, an incident can rapidly cost lives, disrupt business and shut down communications.

The Rhodium™ Incident Management Suite

One of the options available on the market to provide scalable command and control solutions for users to consolidate and distribute information, coordinate assets and act accordingly is the Rhodium™ Incident Management Suite.

It can be accessed anywhere, on any device, through a Web-based interface via a user’s Rhodium account. Users can access data from multiple operating platforms, including Mac- and Windows-based PCs, tablets and smartphones, and Android devices.

The Rhodium software also supports information transfers from other systems, such as CAD notifications, by using a 256-bit data encryption (SSL).

How to Use It in the Field

I recently spoke with Officer Jason Huggins, who is a coordinator with the Search, Rescue and Recovery, Special Operations Division of the Montgomery County (Md.) Police Department. The department recently deployed the Rhodium™ Incident Management Suite for search-and-rescue operations, SWAT operations and pre-planning of incidents and events.

Montgomery County’s deployment is a good example of how the Rhodium software can be used to assist in incidents where there are multiple agencies on-scene to assist in an operation.

“We utilized Rhodium on a search along the Montgomery County/Howard County border for a suicidal subject,” Huggins said. “Circumstances required the use of SWAT resources to conduct an initial sweep prior to a more through coordinated search of the area.”

The Rhodium software was used to create maps showing areas that had been cleared and what areas needed to still be searched.

“We were then able to pass those electronic maps on to the different agency representatives to ensure a thorough search was conducted, ultimately leading to the discovery of the subject,” Huggins said. 

It is difficult to measure ROI, but Huggins said the department utilizes Rhodium on an average of 150 incidents a year.

Indeed, the evolution of incident management software continues to help first responders to more effectively collaborate during emergency responses, leading to a more organized, efficient, and safe response —and nothing could be more valuable than that. 




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