How the Boston Marathon is Utilizing Safety Know-how

Three years after a lethal bombing on the Boston Marathon, know-how has modified the best way regulation enforcement and first responders monitor the occasion.

Monday will mark the third yr that Massachusetts authorities have used a excessive-tech associate, Esri, to do actual-time monitoring of the morning’s race, a way that makes probably the most essential facet of disaster administration — communication — faster and extra environment friendly.

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This is the way it works: A map of all 26.2 miles of the occasion exhibits actual time motion of runners, reside visitors and climate, the variety of sufferers in medical tents, and even issues like emergency automobiles and helicopter touchdown pads. An estimated 200 individuals are logged in at any given time, broadcasting the statistics to teams of individuals from federal authorities in Washington D.C. to native regulation enforcement.

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How the Boston Marathon is Using Security Technology

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When something occurs, from a cell tower getting overloaded to a suspicious package deal showing, somebody on the bottom calls a liaison on the command middle to flag it on the map.

Command-and-management platforms are key when each second counts, stated Michael O’Neil, CEO of MSA Safety, who is not concerned within the Boston Marathon, however has made safety plans for different excessive-danger occasions.

"If there was a safety occasion at mile 5, you need to talk to checkpoints on the remaining miles," stated O’Neil, who was the primary commanding officer of the counter-terrorism unit of the NYPD after September 11. "That is the place a command and management equipment is available in to play. Lock down areas, cease secondary and tertiary assaults — that is what regulation enforcement will consider."

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This know-how has superior as assaults, like these in Boston, catalyzed extra safety wants amongst occasion planners, stated Desiree Kocis, GIS Coordinator on the Massachusetts Emergency Administration Company (MEMA).

"[In the past] know-how has all the time pressured us to compromise what we will do from an info sharing perspective," stated Christopher McIntosh, director of public security industries at Esri. "However that is not the case. The arduous half is for the individuals to know what’s potential, what they need to share with one another, and that is what’s taking time."

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How the Boston Marathon is Using Security Technology

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That is very true for marathons, which do not have a closed perimeter and span giant distances, O’Neil stated. For these sorts of occasions, new know-how like drones can cowl a wider spectrum of safety challenges than individuals alone, stated Arnette Heintze, CEO and co-founding father of Hillard Heintze, an investigation and safety danger administration firm.

"Once you look [at] safety, there’s three legs to the stool: Individuals, course of and know-how," Heintze stated. "When you’ve giant crowds collect, you want individuals to information, direct, inform. Course of, would contain … credentials, ranges of entry to occasion websites. That is a course of that must be mapped out by know-how and other people to ensure it really works."

Different corporations, like Microsoft and Motorola Options have additionally explored public security options as terror assaults, like these in Paris, Brussels and San Bernardino, have rekindled fashionable consciousness.

"We noticed the potential as a result of its crucial for us to make selections a lot quicker than we have been earlier than," stated Kocis. "It makes individuals really feel extra snug."