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Web-based simulation software links emergency responders in Newark and College Station

9/9/2014 12:00 AM

COLLEGE STATION - The new web-based Emergency Management * Exercise System (EM*ES Web) simulation software has been successfully deployed to connect emergency responders in two locations – 1,600 miles apart.

Approximately 40 people at the Newark, NJ, Emergency Operations Center (EOC) recently interacted with 40 members of the city’s Incident Management Team (IMT) in College Station, TX, during a daylong exercise. The Newark IMT was based at the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) Emergency Operations Training Center during the exercise.

“This is the first time we connected an outside entity to the Incident Command Post at the EOTC for a full-day, 8-hour exercise, and it worked very well,” said TEEX Program Director Tony Crites.

Working on a disaster scenario involving improvised explosive devices planted at the Prudential Center in Newark, and then detonated during a mass evacuation of a concert, emergency teams were linked through the EM*ES Web. This exercise allowed the two groups to work through their communications and to evaluate the emergency plans they have in place, Crites said.

“Everyone did a great job of coordinating the exercise in two locations. The instructional staff kept everything moving so it was extremely realistic and seamless for the participants,” he said. The instructional teams consisted of 17 instructors and observer-controllers in College Station and seven in Newark. The exercise control cell delivered scenario injects to the College Station-based Incident Command Post as well as to the EOC in Newark.

“This unique web-based simulation software is the culmination of several years of work between TEEX and TCAT (Texas Center for Applied Technology),” Crites said. “It will expand our simulation capabilities – previously only available at the EOTC – and give us the opportunity to offer the mobile training to jurisdictions and other customers at their locations. We could conduct an exercise anywhere there are good internet connections and networks.

"This opens up the opportunity for us to not only do functional exercises, but also to run a regional or multi-jurisdictional exercise as well as offer this for the private sector.”

Crites said the EM*ES Web software could be used in several current and new courses, including:

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