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In the News: News from March 2019

CAPCOG upgrades 9-1-1 workstations throughout region

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

New workstations being installed by CAPCOG in all 31 public safety answering points (PSAPs) across the region will allow for NextGeneration 9-1-1 once it is instituted; NextGeneration 9-1-1 is a more resilient digital infrastructure system which allows voice, photos, videos, and real-time text messages to flow seamlessly from the public to 9-1-1 call takers. CAPCOG began installing the workstations for emergency telecommunicators in all ten counties in February with completion set for May. While the project is a routine upgrade, it will enhance telecommunicators’ ability to navigate their 9-1-1 system tools.

Each upgraded workstation includes a new computer and at least one 23-inch monitor. If the PSAP uses CAPCOG’s mapping, a second 23-inch monitor will be provided. The older workstations operated on 19-inch monitors, so the increased monitor size allows for an expanded layout of the 9-1-1 dashboard.

Before issuing the new workstations, CAPCOG installed and tested the systems in its training PSAP. Lago Vista’s PSAP was the first to receive the equipment.

> Learn more about CAPCOG’s role in emergency communications.

Standard Response Protocol training video instructs students on safety actions

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Students will be better prepared to respond to terroristic incidents with a new educational video developed through a partnership between Hays County Emergency Services, Texas State, the Office of the Governor, the I Love You Guys Foundation, and CAPCOG as the educational tool promotes the use of the Standard Response Protocol.

The roughly 37-minute video will show students ages eight to 18 how to respond to mass shootings as well as other incidents on their campus. “With the events that are happening around the nation today, we have wanted to invest in educational response tools such as this video for some time, so they can easily be distributed to every school in our region,” said Martin Ritchey, CAPCOG Homeland Security director. CAPCOG worked with the Office of the Governor’s Homeland Security Grant Division to ensure the video’s production was funded.

The video is multifaceted in teaching responses to incidents which require a lockdown, lockout, evacuation, or shelter; all actions that are part of the Standard Response Protocol. The video can be broken into segments so students can watch particular lessons at shortened lengths. It is the second video created to directly target educating students; a pre-k through second-grade video was released in mid-February. The Standard Response Protocol was developed initially by the I Love You Guys Foundation. The video will be posted at later this month.

> Read more about the Homeland Security Division.

CAPCOG to recognize emergency telecommunicators

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

More than 800 emergency telecommunicators serve the CAPCOG ten-county region as the first, first responders, and they work 24 hours a day, seven days a week to ensure their communities are safe. In recognition of their unending dedication to the public’s wellbeing, in March the CAPCOG Executive Committee recognized them in conjunction with National Public Safety Telecommunicator Week, April 14 to 20.

“Telecommunicators are the invaluable connection between emergency responders and the public needing aid in times of crisis,” said Gregg Obuch, CAPCOG Emergency Communications director. “These individuals don’t just dispatch police, paramedics or firefighters, they save lives. Each and every telecommunicator is the backbone of our 9-1-1 operations.”

Local governments are welcome to use the resolution as a template to help recognize their telecommunicators. To further honor each telecommunicators’ dedication, CAPCOG will present them with a thank-you gift between April 14 and 20. CAPCOG also encourages local governments, public safety agencies and the general public throughout the region to recognize their 9-1-1 call takers by participating in or hosting numerous activities such as meals, team building events, and spirit days.

> Download the resolution.
> Get ideas about how to celebrate National Telecommunicator Week.

First responders train for shooter, explosion during exercise

Thursday, March 14, 2019

More than 40 emergency response agencies and 350 public safety personnel from across the region responded to an active shooter, improvised explosion device and radiological dispersion device incidents during the region’s full-scale exercise in February. The training is the region’s opportunity to practice a massive multijurisdictional response that needs large-scale coordination and communication to implement the dispatching and use of specialized teams.

“When you bring together teams that don’t always work together, specialized equipment and multi-agency personnel, you get a chance to use and evaluate these public safety tools,” said Martin Ritchey, CAPCOG Homeland Security director. “It also builds trust and strengthens communication between agencies that would respond during real events.”

During the February exercise, local firefighters, emergency medical personnel, law enforcement officers and emergency management teams responded to the mock incidents at the Round Rock Public Safety Training Center, while other simulated incidents occurred in Burnet, Caldwell and Williamson counties. The local personnel worked alongside the military, Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Division of Emergency Management and state resources. CAPCOG and the participating agencies have completed an after action report of the training, which informs all parties about their strengths and improvement areas. The report is helpful in determining future training and equipment purchases that can contribute saving more lives if such an incident occurs.

> Read more about the Homeland Security Division.

RETF, CAPCOG, Georgetown host environmental law course

Monday, March 11, 2019

The Regional Environmental Task Force (RETF) and CAPCOG are conducting this year’s first basic environmental law training course on March 28 at the Georgetown Municipal Complex, 200 Industrial Avenue in Georgetown. The course teaches peace officers, code enforcement officers, and sanitation workers best-practices for investigating, prosecuting, and abating environmental crimes such as illegal dumping and outdoor burning.

With more than 25 years of experience in combating environmental crimes, the Regional Environmental Task Force instructors will discuss trends in crime occurrences and laws relating to unauthorized discharges in streams and lakes, solid waste regulations and nuisance violations.

> Registration for the course.
> Learn more about the RETF.

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