FEMA Region 8 works closely with all parts of the community. Here you can learn about the latest initiatives involving private sector partners as well as any new policies which may impact the private sector.
Private sector organizations, including businesses, academia, industry, trade associations, and other nongovernmental organizations, are a critical component in efforts to enhance the nation’s resilience to natural and man-made disasters. FEMA views the private sector as equal – and equally responsible – partners in every phase of emergency management. Not only is the private sector often the primary provider of critical services to the public, it also possesses the knowledge and resources to supplement preparedness, response, and recovery efforts.
There are a variety of ways to partner with FEMA and to plug into emergency management efforts at all levels, depending on your organization’s interest and capabilities. Please contact Katie Appenrodt, Region VIII’s private sector liaison at Kathleen.Appenrodt@fema.dhs.gov or at 303-235-4775 for more information.
Partnerships in Action
Take Me Out of the Ballpark: Colorado Rockies Hold Stadium Evacuation Drill
After doing countless table-top exercises and workshops since Coors Field opened in 1995, the Rockies organization decided it was time to put their training to the test with an evacuation exercise at the stadium on August 14, 2014.
One of the main goals of the exercise was to train Rockies and Coors Field operational staff on how to work with police, fire, and emergency medical services (EMS) personnel to quickly and effectively evacuate fans from the stadium, including people with disabilities and others that may require additional assistance. As stated by Kevin Kahn, Vice President/Chief Customer Officer of Ballpark Operations for the Rockies, “exercises like this are important because they give my staff the opportunity to practice our plans. They also give our police, fire and EMS partners the opportunity to identify and overcome unique challenges associated with responding to incidents in a stadium.”
Kahn is no stranger to the types of events that a sports franchise must prepare for. He was working with the Oakland A’s during the earthquake that hit during the 1989 World Series and has been with Major League Baseball for 32 years. Due to this vast experience, Kahn emphasizes the importance of preparing for everything, “while I have been with the Rockies, we have done exercises for everything from severe weather to a train derailment behind the stadium.”
In preparation for this exercise, the Rockies collaborated with police, fire, EMS, and the City and County of Denver Office of Emergency Management personnel starting in March 2014. The vast majority of the 270 volunteers that participated in the exercise were members of Denver Community and Emergency Response Training (CERT). CERT volunteers in the Denver metro-area are some of the most active and committed CERT members throughout the nation. Despite the exercise taking place in the middle of a workday, the Rockies were still able to get volunteers to come out and participate. As stated by Carolyn Bluhm, the CERT coordinator for the City and County of Denver, “I was impressed ---but not surprised---with the positive response when I sent the call out for volunteers. Denver CERT members logged 42,000 hours last year to make this city more prepared and resilient.”
After going through the exercise after action process, Kahn will share lessons learned with other MLB clubs during their annual meetings when operational personnel gather to discuss best practices. As stated by Kahn, “sharing best practices and learning from other organizations is important to the Rockies. We have conducted joint emergency training with Sports Authority Field and Pepsi Center personnel and I observed the Pepsi Center evacuation exercise last October. Additionally, several MLB officials came to Denver to observe this exercise.”
The Rockies’ commitment to continuous improvement and disaster preparedness not only helps their organization, but it has also aided the City and County of Denver and other MLB franchises in becoming more resilient to any challenge thrown their way.