The Mutual Aid Project
Mutual aid is, in a way, at the heart of an emergency management system. The ability of a jurisdiction to obtain support from other jurisdictions in a timely fashion is often critical to the ability to respond and recover from a critical incident. Unfortunately the mutual aid “system” is, for the most part, ad hoc at best and at worst is broken and dependent upon personal relationships among emergency managers and even chief executives. This results in long delays in getting support, in turn resulting in unnecessary continuing damage to the affected community.
G&H working with DHS S&T, KYEM and CUSEC is developing and deploying the technical capabilities and processes to solve this problem. In particular G&H was challenged by Kentucky Homeland Security Director General John Heltzel to work with other contractors to “automate” the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) system by developing the tools to reduce the process of discovering and requesting resources from 48-72 hours to 4 hours. Through the integration of technologies such as the mutual aid support system, the EMAC Operating System, and the Mission Ready Package Tool, G&H is working to develop a framework for packaging private sector and government-owned mutual aid resources into “Mission Ready Packages” or MRPs, inventorying those MRPs, and improving the request and acquisition of those MRPs through operational toolsets. Through this project G&H supported the 2011 National Level Exercise (NLE) CAPSTONE and will support the CAPSTONE 2014 effort to exercise a regional model to support mutual aid missions.