Today, Mayor Michael Nutter announced a new milestone in achieving interoperable communications between the City’s municipal and non-municipal ambulances. Mayor Michael Nutter was joined by Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Everett A. Gillison, Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers, Philadelphia Regional Emergency Medical Services Chief George A. Butts, Jr., Acting Deputy Managing Director for Emergency Management Liam O’Keefe, and Burholme Emergency Medical Service Managing Director Timothy C. Hinchcliff at a ceremony marking this partnership and enhanced level of preparedness in the event of a mass casualty incident in Philadelphia.
“As the second largest city on the East Coast, Philadelphia must be well prepared to handle mass casualties in the event of a major emergency,” said Mayor Nutter. “The Philadelphia Fire Department’s EMS system is one of the finest in our nation. However during a mass casualty incident that could deplete our systems’ resources, it is imperative that we plan for surge ambulances to support these efforts.”
Philadelphia is known as America’s Birthplace and is home to some of our Nation’s most important icons and institutions. “Our city frequently hosts major, large-scale events such as the annual Independence Day activities on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the 2009 Phillies Playoff and World Series Games and Championship Parade and the 2010 Philadelphia Flyers Playoff and Stanley Cup Games,” noted Deputy Mayor Gillison. “Having an enhanced EMS system in place that can respond, if needed, when thousands of people are visiting our City, is an essential part of our public safety efforts.”
Medical response to public safety emergencies in Philadelphia, through the 9-1-1 emergency system, is routinely provided by municipal-owned ambulances operated by the Philadelphia Fire Department. However in circumstances where an unusually large number of casualties require emergency medical services (EMS) or a healthcare facility requires evacuation, the Fire Department may need to call upon the emergency assistance of non-municipal ambulance services to provide ambulances and EMS professionals.
Fire Commissioner Ayers noted that approximately 50 municipal ambulances are on duty in the city daily, depending upon demand. In addition, approximately 50 non-municipal ambulance companies, with 300 ambulances, operate in Philadelphia. “Incorporating non-municipal ambulances into our EMS surge response strategy and ensuring that we have a system in place to communicate critical information to them in the event of a major incident will assist us in our mission of saving lives.”
During the past two years, Philadelphia Regional Emergency Medical Services Chief George Butts oversaw the coordination and implementation of this interoperability project which consisted primarily of two major components - a technical solution and a programmatic solution.
The technical solution connected the non-municipal radios to the Fire Communications Center. The City conducted a recent test of the system and the Fire Communications Center successfully communicated with several non-municipal providers, achieving a level of interoperability that did not previously exist in Philadelphia.
The programmatic solution involved revising the Statement of Participation that non-municipal ambulances are required to sign in order to operate in the City. Among the many changes, the Statement of Participation requires that all ambulances have a radio capable of communicating with Philadelphia’s Fire Communications Center.
“This enhanced level of communications will provide us with much needed resources should an incident occur resulting in injuries or illness that may exceed the City’s EMS and hospital capabilities,” noted Acting Deputy Managing Director for Emergency Management O’Keefe. “We commend the Philadelphia Regional EMS staff for their role in finding a viable solution that now allows municipal and non-municipal ambulances to communicate with each other.”
In order to participate as surge ambulances, non-municipal ambulance services agree to furnish EMS personnel and resources that may be necessary to provide emergency medical service at an incident of such magnitude that it is likely to exceed the capacity of the Philadelphia Fire Department emergency medical response. As part of the agreement, non-municipal ambulance services will only respond to a request for services through the established communications channels, which is the Philadelphia Fire Communications Center.
All emergency response efforts will be performed in accordance with the National Incident Management System, existing local and regional Mass Casualty Incident plans, local and regional healthcare facility evacuation plans, as well as other relevant laws, codes, and ordinances affecting patient transport and care. The non-municipal ambulance services also participate in joint planning, training and exercises.
In addition, non-municipal ambulance services will maintain operational VHS radio equipment to communicate with the Philadelphia Fire Communications Center. Philadelphia Regional Emergency Medical Services offered rebates to participating ambulance companies to assist with the purchase of the compatible VHS radios. The rebates, in the amount of $400 per radio, covered half the cost of the radio. Because of the rebates, nearly 20 non-municipal ambulance companies with 80 vehicles are now equipped with the radios. The rebates were made available through a grant to Philadelphia Regional Emergency Medical Services from the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
“We are all here to serve the people of Philadelphia and this project is the first significant step in developing an ongoing public/ private partnership for Emergency Medical Services support within our region,” said Timothy Hinchcliff. “The non-municipal EMS agencies of Philadelphia look forward to continuing this collaboration with our municipal partners in areas of response as well as our joint planning and training efforts. Today's event marks an unprecedented new chapter in the cooperation and deployment of the non-municipal EMS assets that our great city has to offer.”
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Deputy Managing Director for Emergency Management MaryAnn E. Tierney and SEPTA General Manager Joseph M. Casey announced today that SEPTA alerts are now offered through ReadyNotifyPA, the City of Philadelphia’s emergency text and e-mail alert system. The new alerts will provide SEPTA riders with another avenue to receive real-time information on delays and service interruptions.
SEPTA General Manager Casey explained that riders can select any or all of the SEPTA alerts available through ReadyNotifyPA – the Broad Street Line, Market-Frankford Line, Norristown High Speed Line, Regional Rail, Trolley and Bus routes. Riders who sign up for SEPTA alerts can choose to receive the alerts 24-hours a day or weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
To sign up for SEPTA alerts on your cell phone, Blackberry, iPhone, other mobile devices, or through e-mail, simply visit SEPTA’s website at www.septa.org or the Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management’s website at www.phila.gov/ready. Click on the ReadyNotifyPA logo. Select “Click Here to Register” and follow the online instructions.
“We are thrilled to be part of ReadyNotifyPA,” said Mr. Casey. “It provides SEPTA with another avenue to communicate with our customers and provide them with real-time transit alerts.”
From its Control Center, SEPTA currently sends out travel alerts and transit delays through its Twitter feed at www.twitter.com/septa and through its website at www.septa.org. In an effort to reach more riders and further the goal of creating a one-stop-shop for emergency-related alerts and notifications, SEPTA -- which serves nearly one million customers a day -- and the Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management have joined forces to offer SEPTA alerts to riders in Southeastern Pennsylvania through ReadyNotifyPA.
“ReadyNotifyPA has proven to be a valuable public notification tool for people who live, work and visit Philadelphia,” said Mrs. Tierney. “Since we first launched ReadyNotifyPA in 2008, the type of alerts offered continues to grow. Providing SEPTA alerts is a great service to the public, whether it’s during emergency or non-emergency situations.”
ReadyNotifyPA is one of several tools that the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) uses to provide important information to the public. In addition, people should also tune to local TV and radio for important information, updates and instructions in the event of an emergency.
Or, they can follow OEM on its social media networking sites – Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn and Blogger – available through OEM’s website at www.phila.gov/ready.
Mrs. Tierney reminds residents that it is important to prepare now for any kind of any emergency by developing a family emergency plan. The plan should include knowing how to shelter in place, knowing what to do if you need to evacuate, putting together an emergency supply kit, developing a family communication plan to keep in touch with loved ones during an emergency, and knowing how to stay informed during an emergency. For more information about how to prepare for emergencies and ReadyNotifyPA, visit the Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management’s website at www.phila.gov/ready.
Powered by Cooper Notification’s Roam Secure Alert Network™ (RSAN™), alerts sent through ReadyNotifyPA are free for subscribers. Wireless carrier providers, however, may apply standard text messaging rates. Subscribers will be able to register an unlimited number of devices and accounts to receive messages from ReadyNotifyPA.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Heat Stoke occurs when the body is not able to cool down. It is extremely serious and can result in death or long term disability. It causes:
- Very high body temperature (above 103F)
- Red, hot, and dry skin with no sweating
- Rapid heartbeat
- Throbbing headache
People experiencing these symptoms should seek immediate medical attention.For more information on staying safe this summer, download the Stay Cool Guide or visit the Extreme Heat page of the Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management website.
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Today, Mayor Michael A. Nutter accepted the resignation of MaryAnn Tierney as Deputy
Managing Director for Emergency Management. Mrs. Tierney is leaving the Office of
Emergency Management to accept the position of Regional Administrator for Region III with
the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). As FEMA Regional Administrator, she
will serve as the focal point for coordination, analysis and decision making for all regional emergency preparedness programs. Her resignation is effective
Friday, August 13, 2010.
“I would like to thank MaryAnn for her invaluable service to the City of
,” said Mayor Nutter. “ Philadelphia is now a safer, more secure and more prepared City because of her leadership. I wish her success at FEMA as she takes on the even larger role of preparing our region for emergency situations.” Philadelphia
“I have loved my time working for the City of
and am pleased by the great strides the Office of Emergency Management has made to make the City more secure in the event of an emergency. The highly skilled and dedicated public servants in the Office of Emergency Management provide outstanding service to Philadelphia , and it has been a pleasure serving with them,” said MaryAnn Tierney. Philadelphia
During her tenure, Mrs. Tierney oversaw the transformation of the City’s emergency preparedness program. She developed consistent, operational emergency plans and procedures, conducted training and exercises for first responders, built partnerships with the private sectors and community organizations, and created new avenues for the public to prepare for and be informed during emergency situations.
Previously, she served as Assistant Commissioner for Planning and Preparedness in
where she oversaw the revision of the City’s Coastal Storm Plan and coordinated the debris operation at the New York City . She also was responsible for World Trade Center ’s application for Federal funding to reimbursed costs associated with the response to and recovery from 9/11, which totaled over $4.75 billion. Mrs. Tierney holds a Masters in Public Administration from New York City and a B.A. in political science from New York University . She recently completed the American University for Homeland Defense and Security’s Executive Leaders Program. Naval Postgraduate School Center
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Heat Exhaustion is a heat-related illness that can develop after several days of exposure to high temperatures or by not drinking enough fluids. It causes:
- Decreased energy
- Slight loss of appetite
- Feeling Light-headed
- Muscle Cramps
If you experience any of these symptoms, go to a cool environment, drink fluids, remove excess clothing, and rest. If symptoms worsen, seek medical attention.