Emergency Preparedness Technology And Planning System To Protect 20 Washington Community Colleges

The Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC) announced recently that the statewide Critical Incident Planning and Mapping System (CIPMS) is being expanded to include 20 of the 34 community colleges in the state.

The Washington State Legislature passed a bill this past legislative session which authorized the expansion of the CIPMS to 20 community colleges for this fiscal year. The CIPMS is the result of a bill passed by the state legislature in 2003 that delegated WASPC the responsibility to create and operate a statewide emergency preparedness and crisis management system. All public high schools in the state and most middle and elementary schools are already being protected by the system as well as many other public buildings and critical infrastructure.

The Critical Incident Planning and Mapping System runs on laptop computers and provides first responders with instant access to more than 300 site-specific data points, including emergency response plans, site and floor plans, aerial and geospatial imagery, interior and exterior photos, staging areas, hazardous materials locations, utility shut-offs and evacuation routes for virtually any facility.

In Washington state, more than 1,700 school campuses have been “mapped” and cataloged in the CIPMS. This system was recognized in the Harvard/Noblis Innovations Award in Homeland Security that was presented to the State of Washington in September 2007.

“The success of this statewide public safety mapping program is another example of our close partnership with local law enforcement leaders,” said Gov. Christine Gregoire. “We listened to their recommendations and then took the steps necessary to implement the plan to increase the safety of our students at state colleges and universities.”

“The Washington Association of Sheriffs’ and Police Chiefs is pleased that the legislature and the Governor continue to support successful programs to protect students and develop a statewide emergency preparedness system in our state,” said Don Pierce, executive director of WASPC. “Prevention is always the goal but when an incident does happen, a program like the CIPMS provides public safety agencies with the tools and pre-planning they need to respond effectively to both campus emergencies or as a statewide disaster response solution. The CIPMS has proven highly successful in actual incidents, including a shooting incident at a Spokane (Wash.) high school where a gunman was isolated in 12 minutes and more than 2,000 students were evacuated offsite in less than 20 minutes.”

The technology behind the CIPMS, Prepared Response Inc’s Rapid Responder crisis management system, has been certified as a “Qualified Anti-Terrorism Technology” through the Department of Homeland Security’s SAFETY Act program and is endorsed by the National Sheriffs’ Association. Rapid Responder protects more than 12,200 school and other critical infrastructure facilities in 12 states and is used by more than 500 first responder agencies.

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