Mission Manager & HELP Disaster Management Join Forces at Emergency Management Expo

SAN DIEGO, CALIF. – With a common goal of enhancing multi-agency emergency response efforts, Mission Manager, Inc. and HELP Disaster Management, Inc. teamed up at the Emergency Management & Homeland Security Expo (EMEX) last month in San Antonio, Texas, to showcase their core capabilities to emergency managers from around the globe.

Mission Manager – a leading provider of cloud-based emergency management software – helps first responders increase the efficiency and effectiveness of their team’s daily operations and overall emergency response efforts.  HELP Disaster Management, based in Houston, Texas, is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that supports the emergency management community in the areas of incident management, event management, planning support, and training and exercise.

At EMEX, the robust software was demonstrated at Mission Manager’s booth as well as the HELP Disaster Management’s exhibit, which comprised a large, deployable shelter provided by Western Shelter Systems.  On hand at HELP’s booth were nearly a dozen Incident Management Team (IMT) members, who are part of a multi-disciplinary 50-member team available to support local, regional state and national responses.

During their VIP tours, HELP Disaster Management personnel showcased some of the latest innovations in field hygiene, medical support and incident command applications. They also demonstrated how Mission Manager supported their operations with its resource tracking, timekeeping, notification and messaging functions.

Meanwhile at Mission Manager’s booth, company representatives showcased capabilities ranging from personnel and equipment management, timekeeping and scheduling to drag-and-drop teambuilding, mapping overlays, real-time field communications and automated reporting functions.

“We were excited to unveil Mission Manager to a broad network of emergency managers at EMEX. It provided an excellent opportunity to demonstrate how Mission Manager can streamline their daily operations and emergency response efforts, and in the process, save significant time and money,” said Michael J. Berthelot, President and CEO of Mission Manager, Inc. “Best of all Mission Manager is cost effective and easy to use. It’s very intuitive, flexible and highly customizable to suit any agency’s needs.”

Mission Manager: Re-launched with Infrastructure Upgrades Initially developed by a first responder as “freeware” in 2011, Mission Manager was re-launched last July as a subscription-based model with significant infrastructure upgrades that have improved its functionality, reliability and data security. Enhancements include moving the database to Amazon Web Services in order to provide continuous database backups and an uptime guarantee of 99.9%. Mission Manager has also enlisted a dedicated staff to provide technical support via telephone, in person, community forums and training videos.

Based on three core principles – preparation, readiness and execution – Mission Manager ensures managers are armed with current data so they can quickly and efficiently organize teams and execute their missions. The robust database tracks every member’s contact information, gear and certifications, and sends automatic reminders if their certifications are set to expire. Mission Manager also tracks a team’s equipment and maintenance schedules, and helps with the day-to-day management of documents and forms, timekeeping and task delegation.

“With Mission Manager, administrators can easily track and integrate their team’s personnel, equipment and live mission data – all within one complete package.  This reduces time-consuming paperwork, speeds response times in the field, and enhances situational awareness for the team,” Berthelot said.

A Perfect Solution for HELP Disaster Management HELP Disaster Management, which adopted Mission Manager in July 2013, has used the software to conduct eight missions and send over 3,600 messages to its members.

“Mission Manager is a perfect solution for us,” said Tony Lamberth, the organization’s founder. “We use Mission Manager as a day-to-day tool to track and manage our team and communicate with members during deployments.  It has helped us tremendously with our collaboration and data collection.”

Tony noted that HELP currently uses Mission Manager to supplement the state of Texas’ incident qualification system, or IQS. “We have already started the migration of data to utilize Mission Manager as our main IQS. This data could then possibly be exported to each state’s incident qualification systems,” he said.

HELP’s recent missions include tornado responses in Kentucky, Missouri and Alabama.  Its team members were also deployed to Eagle Pass, Texas after major floods destroyed homes and businesses throughout the region in June 18 of 2013. HELP Disaster Management supported Eagle Pass by managing volunteers.

Personnel and asset management is vital for the organization as it continues to expand. Among its goals, HELP is working to grow their IMT team to 300 members in three years as part of its “300 x 3” campaign.  The organization is also regionalizing all operations into 10 regions that mirror the FEMA regions.

Until now, Mission Manager has played a key role for their team organization; however, Tony said they are currently learning new features that will allow them to use Mission Manager more extensively during deployments.

“I have been very pleased with Mission Manager’s level of support and technical upgrades since it was re-launched in July 2014,” Tony said.  “I’ve used many other incident management software programs, but I always end up coming back to Mission Manager.”

Providing GEN3 IMT Capabilities As one of a few non-government organization (NGO) IMTs in Texas,  HELP IMT represents the next generation of emergency management response capabilities, which it dubs “Generation 3 (GEN3) IMT.”  The GEN3 Team has a core group of leaders that are seasoned responders and highly knowledgeable of the Incident Command System.

“We have incredible talent on our team, including subject-matter experts from all over the country – forensic scientists, meteorologists, business continuity experts – highly skilled top-level professionals with day jobs. The people in this business are driven by their passion to serve and use their skills to help others when disaster occurs. They’re not driven by money or notoriety,” said Erika Lamberth, Public Information Officer for the organization.

Erika emphasized that while the organization is nonprofit, it is not all-volunteer. Team members are paid per FEMA reimbursement rates.  Most of their training and meetings are conducted virtually or at events such as EMEX, where many new members took advantage of the opportunity to learn many of Mission Manager’s new features.

Lamberth said he particularly likes the fact that Mission Manager can be used off-line and is automatically synched when internet connectivity becomes available. “This is important during a major disaster, because most of the time, we don’t have the luxury of internet access and other technologies. That’s why the GEN3 team must have the ability to quickly manage an incident with pen and paper.”

HELP Available 24/7 HELP operates under the principles of the National Incident Management System, or NIMS. During times of emergency, HELP’s All Hazards Type 3 Incident Management Team (AHIMT) is available to provide support as requested by local jurisdictions, other non-profit organizations, or any state or federal agency. The HELP IMT has a launch time of less than six hours and an on-scene time guaranteed of less than 24 hours.

“We come in when local government agencies are overwhelmed, but we do not self-deploy.  When a disaster strikes, we reach out to emergency management coordinators to see how we can help. We also have pre-disaster contracts in place so agencies know we’re ready to help 24/7,” said Erika.

The diversity of their team from around the U.S. gives them leverage to respond with a national reach.  They are also adaptable to the community, providing only what is needed, such as a single source to support an Emergency Operations Center or a full team to manage multiple volunteer reception centers.

HELP is seen as a “quick-in, high-quality organization that can maneuver easily through the response system,” according to Tony.  A benefit of the GEN Team is that they are readily available to respond as requested to incidents, in communities around the country, at a lower cost to the jurisdiction.

“We have a competitive edge because we’re non-jurisdictional.  As a 501(c)3 non-profit agency, we can respond at a significantly lower cost than standard government deployments. And cost savings alone can exceed 50%, as with the case at Eagle Pass,” said Tony, adding that past responses have proven that HELP team deployments provide jurisdictions with substantial savings.

Each regional team is led by a Regional Director who is responsible for situational awareness and coordinating HELP initiatives within their respective areas. This regional management approach allows HELP to support communities more efficiently, and with a tailored approach, whether their need is preparedness, mitigation, response or recovery services.

For more information about HELP Disaster Management, please call 713-715-9005 or visit their website at http://www.helpdisastermanagement.org/go/doc/4719/1297007/

About Mission Manager Mission Manager provides cloud-based software designed to help save lives and property by enabling first responders to operate more efficiently and effectively. Mission Manager’s team member and asset management capabilities, combined with its calendar and communication functions, allows users to enhance team readiness through optimized training and seamlessly integrate mission-specific operations during real-time events. Over the past three years, Mission Manager has been used in nearly 5,000 missions ranging from single-person rescues to large public events and full-scale natural disaster response. Mission Manager is currently used in all 50 U.S. states, and on every continent except Antarctica. Truly a global tool, Mission Manager is available in 80 languages.  Mission Manager is available for a 30-day free trial to new users via its website at www.missionmanager.com

For more information, contact: Janet Dayton Mission Manager, Inc. Phone: 619-457-6114 Email: jdayton@missionmanager.com