Baltimore better able to handle civil unrest, officials say | N.J. city has first community-based emergency-response unit | Facebook reports it provided user data for majority of law enforcement requests
November 18, 2015
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Baltimore better able to handle civil unrest, officials say
Protests in Baltimore After Funeral Held For Baltimore Man Who Died While In Police Custody
(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Baltimore officials said lessons learned and public safety changes following riots in April have made the city better prepared to handle civil unrest and protect residents. A report on how the Baltimore Police Department handled the riots found problems such as poor communication, insufficient training, inadequate planning and a disorganized internal structure. The city has spent almost $2 million on new equipment and has bolstered training and mutual aid agreements with other jurisdictions. The Baltimore Sun (11/16)
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N.J. city has first community-based emergency-response unit
The Jersey City Medical Center-Barnabas Health and Jersey City, N.J., have agreed to create the nation's first community-based emergency-response program. The 51 volunteers in the United Rescue program will respond to 9-1-1 medical calls to provide assistance until an ambulance arrives. The volunteers will be dispatched using the GPS-based NowForce mobile app linked to the Jersey City Medical Center's dispatch system. The Jersey Journal (Jersey City, N.J.) (11/13)
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Blend Content and Community to Create Truly Interactive Websites
Websites need to evolve. Visit any website today and they're much the same as those in the 1990's: entirely one-way. In this eBook, we detail six reasons for blending an online community to make your website interactive.

Policy Pulse
FirstNet RFP should come by end of 2015, official says
FirstNet still expects to release a final request-for-proposal document for the network by the end of 2015, said spokesman Ryan Oremland. FirstNet CEO Mike Poth had previously said the RFP could be pushed back to early 2016 if needed. The expected RFP timing will allow bidders to submit proposals by mid-2016 so that FirstNet can choose a partner by early 2017. Urgent Communications (11/12)
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Mich. county, city to link radio systems to improve response
The city of Warren and Macomb County in Michigan have agreed to a joint plan and will spend $9.6 million to improve their radio systems for fire, police and emergency medical services. The agreement would couple the systems to allow the jurisdictions to provide backup for each other in the event of a disaster. The Detroit News (11/12)
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Innovation Insights
Schools turn to apps to call 9-1-1 during emergencies
Everett and Monroe school districts in Washington state are among the first to adopt Rave Mobile Safety smartphone apps that act as panic buttons and call 9-1-1 in an emergency. Meanwhile, Porter County schools in Indiana plan to give all teachers and administrators the Guard911 cellphone app that uses a companion Hero911 app to alert police in the event of an emergency. The Herald (Everett, Wash.) (11/17), The Times (Munster-Hammond-Merrillville-Valparaiso, Ind.) (11/15)
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Dubai firefighters might use jetpacks to rescue people from tall buildings
(Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Dubai, United Arab Emirates, has ordered as many as 20 carbon-fiber Martin Aircraft jetpacks, along with simulators and training equipment, in a sign that the technology could be going mainstream. The gadgets that have a 2-liter, two-stroke, 200-horsepower, V4 engine could be used by emergency workers to rescue people from blazes in Dubai skyscrapers. BBC (11/11)
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The book your dispatchers should be reading.
"What is your emergency? The History of Public Safety Dispatching in America" is the story of America's Dispatchers. Origins of the radio, key figures, legislation, and federal oversight are reviewed. Major incidents, recruitment & training, and dispatching in the media with a special interview with producer Arnold Shapiro (Rescue 911) are included. Order your book today.
Silence is the bluntest of blunt instruments."
-- Erica Jong,
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