Tag Archives: Red Cross

Dulles Emergency Exercise 2010

I was lucky enough to be invited to participate in the triennial disaster exercise at Dulles this week, serving in the role as Red Cross PIO. This was very exciting. Some pictures follow, as does the write up from the Red Cross National Capital Region.

Red Cross is on the job at emergency drill
By Patrick Pannett

Public Affairs Volunteer

Dulles International Airport recently held its triennial full-scale emergency exercise to evaluate the airport’s emergency response to a simulated incident involving an aircraft crash.

The Red Cross of the National Capital Region was involved in several components of the exercise. In addition to nearly 20 regional Red Cross volunteers and employees, the exercise included 122 volunteer “casualties” from the community and local schools on the scene and 31 family members at the Family Assistance and Support Team (FAST).

The 7-hour exercise began with an aircraft being set ablaze. Airport and regional fire and emergency services responded and rapidly put the fire out. Once the fire was out, volunteer victims, in various stages of injury were staged and evaluated by emergency personnel and triaged accordingly. To add to the effect of the scenario, the victims were “moulaged” which meant they were provided make-up, fake blood and other effects to mimic real injuries.

This exercise required the Red Cross being positioned in two places – a canteen and other resources at the crash site itself to provide support to the first responders and others working on the search and rescue and recovery operations. The Family Assistance and Support Team was setup in the terminal to work with and reassure the families of the travelers. One highlight of the FAST team exercise was the participation of Titus and Stormy, Red Cross therapy dogs from our Prince William office, who work to comfort families and victims of disasters. Oftentimes during disasters like this, the reassurance the Red Cross provides to family and loved ones of those involved in an accident is invaluable as details of the disaster emerge.

Copyright © 2010 American Red Cross of the National Capital Area. All Rights Reserved.

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So Much to Ponder – the it’s been a while edition

Given that it’s been so long since I last posted; these are the things on my mind (no particular order):

  1. iPad
  2. Haiti/Red Cross activities
  3. Travelling with the netbook and MiFi
  4. What can Brown do for you
  5. Ava

1. It’s Alive! The iPad – it lives

The much ballyhooed and hyped Apple tablet was announced today as the iPad (http://www.apple.com/ipad), starting at $499 for one with a meager 16 gig memory. My immediate observations are that there is no way to add memory or to use removable flash memory – a major drawback. There is a $130 premium for 3G – basically that adds the unlocked GSM chipset allowing you to add data service from a GSM provider – T-Mobile or AT&T stateside. My money would say get a good mid-range WiFi only version and use it with a MiFi when on the road – getting you good network coverage too and the ability to have 4 others tie into the hotspot: http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/mobilebroadband/?page=products_mifi

Don’t get me wrong about this, I like most people enjoy the products, I use a tiny 1gig shuffle about daily, but always avoided the iPhone. iTunes pisses me off because much of it is proprietary, and the same goes for the 30-pin connector on the iPad, why oh why are there no industry standards for CE devices – where you are talking mini-USB chargers, memory cards, or video outs. I also enjoy playing with my friend’s iPhones, but the costs and coverage leave much to be desired. Why would it not have a webcam in it? Makes so much sense for Skypeing – and a big reason behind the success of netbooks. I assume most people have a camera phone already, so not having a traditional camera is likely a non-issue.

Finally, the e-ink on the Kindle et al is great looking, it will take looking at the iPad to see if they can do the e-book experience nearly as well, I suspect I’ll need to see one in real life to see. But I don’t think Amazon or the BN Nook is too worried at this time. I’ll likely try the Sony e-reader software on the netbook. Stay tuned for that.

Parting thought from Rob Pegoraro’s WaPo chat today on the iPad:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/discussion/2010/01/25/DI2010012501334.html

Long Island, NY: So, this iPad is basically a 10″ iPhone that runs the same OS, but has iBooks, and scraps the phone and camera?

Rob Pegoraro: Not a bad summary of it. But… will software written for the iPad become a sort of middle ground of productivity and entertainment between the laptop and the phone? Apple is betting on that happening, but a lot of other things have to happen first. Let’s not forget here that it’s the same App Store as before, so you could have issues getting apps approved.

2. Issue 2 – Haiti (growled in my best McLaughlin Group tone):

Wow…where to start, Katrina was bad, the tsunami was bad, but this is a whole other bowl of bad. For a country in continuous strife – both man-made and weather-related, this was the icing on the cake to take them to the lowest they can go. Now they have to rebuild.

I was fortunate to be able to help the Red Cross National Capital Region with some of their press outreach, which led to a very cold morning the day of my Lasik surgery (the topic of an upcoming post). Long story short, some exceptionally well trained folks from the ARC deployed with all of their equipment to help with the disaster assessment and communications needs on the island. http://www.wusa9.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=95940&catid=187

This is going to be an incredibly long, expensive and time consuming rebuild, and just remember, as a result of Katrina, the Gulf Coast is still an active Red Cross disaster, beyond everyone else who is rebuilding down there.

I would be remiss if I forgot to mention that you can donate to both the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund and International Response Fund at http://www.RedCross.org.

3. Travelling with the netbook and MiFi
A full post will follow on this, but starting earlier this month with a trip to Albany, I have ditched the 15″ Dell laptop for travel and am taking an Acer Aspire One and Verizon MiFi mobile hotspot on my travels. It’s working great so far, and saving several pounds of weight from my messenger bad is a huge bonus.

4. What Can Brown Do For You

In my gut, i knew this would happen, that Michael Brown would win by a few points over Martha Coakley. That doesn’t mean I wasn’t royally pissed off last Tuesday night. This was inexcusable. Less of a referendum on POTUS than it was a damning indictment of an atrociously run campaign. Seriously, having worked on a campaign over Christmas before, I can tell you the only day of downtime was Christmas Day itself. Where is the work regimen? And more to the point, why did more senior staffers not sound the alarm sooner to the candidate, kitchen cabinet and national committees?

Note to self, check any sense of inevitability and the fortune of incumbency at the door. This will be a fascinating election season, and hard work will be needed to see any successes on the Dem side, especially in light of the retirements. Hopefully a bold SOTU by Obama tonight will put the country on a more aggressive footing to tackle to many deep troubles at hand.

5. Ava

Well, I knew this day would come. She is now walking around and getting into everything more than ever. It’s been pretty quiet on the whole, no drama since she turned one except for a couple of trips to the ER, nothing serious, just to make sure she didn’t have a bad case of something called RSV.

It’s amazing how quick they grow up.

So that’s the update, I’ll try and write more, especially when I have time sitting on the 2100 or 2171.