PREPAREDNESS TODAY - A Mutualink Newsletter

A Thank You from the Presidential Inauguration

Mutualink Multimedia Interoperability at Inauguration
Mutualink Multimedia Interoperability
at Inauguration

Our growing community of Mutualink users and supporters are playing an important role in helping to increase awareness of Mutualink. Without your support, Mutualink would be unable to achieve the great successes and levels of interest it is currently commanding in many places.

As many of you may already know, while an estimated 2 million visitors descended upon Washington DC for the historic inauguration of President Barack Obama in Washington, D.C., several key law enforcement agencies were using Mutualink to share interoperable communications and video in real time, providing enhanced situational awareness and joint collaboration and response capabilities.

These law enforcement agencies included the Washington DC Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Police (WMATA-MTPD), United States Park Police (USPP), Pentagon Force Protection Agency (PFPA) and New Jersey Transit Police Department (NJTPD). Through Mutualink, they were able to seamlessly communicate over disparate radio and telephone systems and share direct live video surveillance feeds with each other

Among many notable items and accomplishments, Mutualink was quickly deployed for the presidential inauguration over a two week period. Mutualink deployments included installations at agency headquarters, police dispatch operations, emergency management centers and three mobile command vehicles. The quick installation validated that Mutualink is a low cost and easy to implement system. Whereas other complex server based interoperable solutions have reportedly taken a year or longer in many cases to implement, once connectivity is established Mutualink’s peer-to-peer based environment is virtually self- configuring.

From a multimedia communications interoperability and sharing perspective, a wide variety of adaptive collaborative communications were enabled. The Washington, D.C. MPD’s usage of Mutualink included command center remote telephone connectivity with local radio communications, as well as wireless sharing of video, voice and text with other agencies from fixed and mobile centers. These included the Pentagon Force Protection Agency and WMATA. The U.S. Park Police utilized several aspects of enhanced interoperability by sharing voice and video, including real-time streaming video from a cell phone from the grounds of the Washington, D.C. Mall, with other Capital Region law enforcement partners. From beyond the Capitol region, the NJ Transit Police used Mutualink at its headquarters in Newark, N.J. for real-time communications with Washington, D.C. law enforcement.

Table of Contents
A Thank You from the Presidential Inauguration 1
Roll Call 2
Public Safety Agencies and School(s) Emergency Communications Connected under NIMS 3
New FEMA Certifications 4
NRF Resource Guide 5
About Mutualink 5
Educational Materials
Ask us about our community-wide emergency preparedness educational materials and how we can assist you in organizing community-level outreach and participation meetings.

Educational Materials
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"A Thank You from the Presidential Inauguration" Continued from page 1

The value of Mutualink was roundly recognized among the various law enforcement agencies, and its actual use served to reinforce its benefits. Sharing one case with you, a participating agency was able to notify another agency of an incident within its jurisdictional footprint and communicate key information to its dispatch center. When it was reported, the dispatch operator was surprised asking “how did you guys know that before us?” Of course, as public safety professionals know, the answer is interoperable communications capability is a significant force multiplier.

While all of us at Mutualink are proud of our accomplishments at the inauguration, we offer our special thanks and most sincere appreciation to our Mutualink users and supporters who, with great vision, leadership and insight, enthusiastically continue to encourage its growing adoption and use. As with any community, we cannot succeed without the collaborative support of our friends and partners.



More Agencies are active with field-to-field linked exercises

December and January brought 6 new agencies into the Roll Call program. Welcome Berlin Public Schools, Cromwell Police and Fire Departments, Michael Stapleton Associates, Rocky Hill Police Department and Stamford Hospital.

Organization City D2D D2D-R D2D-M 3DM Total
Roll Calls
Berlin Public Schools Berlin, CT 1 1 - - 5
Cromwell Fire Department Cromwell, CT 1 6 - - 7
Cromwell Police Department Cromwell, CT 1 5 - - 6
Jersey City Office of Emergency Management Jersey City, NJ 2 1 - - 3
Michael Stapleton Associates New York, NY 1 2 2 1 6
Newark Arena - Prudential Center Newark, NJ 3 8 - 1 12
Newark Police Department Newark, NJ 5 12 - 5 22
Northwest Bergen Central Dispatch Ridgewood, NJ 11 9 8 1 29
Palisades Park Police Department Palisades Park, NJ 9 10 - 3 22
Paramus Police Department Paramus, NJ 12 7 - 5 24
Rocky Hill Police Department Rocky Hill, CT - 1 - - 1
Sonitrol Communications Rocky Hill, CT - 15 11 - 26
Stamford Hospital Stamford, CT - 1 - - 1
Trenton Police Department Trenton, NJ 4 9 - 7 20
UMDNJ - University of Medicine & Dentistry of NJ Newark, NJ 6 11 - 5 22
D2D - Dispatch to dispatch
D2D-R - Dispatch to dispatch with field radios
D2D-M - Dispatch to dispatch with multi-media sharing
3DM - 3 or more dispatch participants with multi-media sharing
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The Central, CT. Preparedness Network

"NIMS Implementation Activities for Schools and Higher Education Institutions’ presents a set of key school and campus emergency management activities that will enhance the relationship between schools and campuses, their respective local governments, and their community partners as they communicate, collaborate, and coordinate on these NIMS activities."

US Dept. of Education Announcement – NIMS Implementation Activities For Schools and Higher Education Institutions

In central Connecticut, steps are being taken to establish comprehensive communications interoperability between schools and local public safety response assets. The Rocky Hill, CT. Police Department, Cromwell, CT. Police and Fire Departments, and Berlin High School and Berlin, CT. Police Department have deployed Mutualink’s communication resource sharing platform, enabling seamless, real-time interoperable communications among all of the network participants. This effort is a major step towards an emergency preparedness and response communications capability that meets the collaborative “all disciplines, all hazards” approach established under the National Response Framework (NRF), and enabling a National Incident Management System (NIMS) compliant environment with an institutionalized and operational understanding of the Incident Command System (ICS).

Schools of all levels are encouraged to be ready to handle emergencies, and the US Department of Education (ED) has issued important guidance to assist educators and administrators in implementing NIMS compliant preparedness and response programs. As part of its effort, ED has established the Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools (REMS) Technical Assistance Center. The REMS resource center can guide schools in emergency preparedness activities and also assist them with funding applications under the ED Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools (REMS) and Emergency Management for Higher Education (EMHE) Discretionary Grant Program.

In addition to the programmatic drive to achieve a higher state of preparedness and response readiness, the practical imperative interoperable communications between public safety agencies and schools as a pragmatic step to improved safety has been further magnified over the past decade by a series of high-profile tragic events such as the ones that occurred at Columbine High School and Virginia Tech University. In the aftermath of the Virginia Tech tragedy, the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA) published an analysis and blueprint for safer campuses. In this report, the IACLEA reaffirmed the importance of interoperable communications for effective critical incident response.

In preparation for the operational deployment and use of Mutualink between the schools and police and fire departments, personnel at Berlin High School and Berlin Police Department have worked with Mutualink on completing FEMA Incident Command System, ICS-100 certification. In January, all participants will begin taking part in routine check-in exercises. We invite your jurisdiction to take the next step in making community-wide emergency preparedness and response a reality.

Below, we have compiled a guide of key Emergency Management and Response resources for schools and higher education institutions.

NIMS & Emergency Management Related Resources for Schools:
Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools (REMS) and Emergency Management for Higher Education (EMHE) Discretionary Grant Program
US Department of Education – Emergency Management for Schools
US Department of Education- NIMS Implementation Activities for Schools and Higher Education Institutions (HEIs)
Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools (REMS) Technical Assistance Center
The Idaho Emergency Operation Planning Guide For Safe and Secure Schools*

*Editor’s Note – a wonderfully concise and well organized web guide for school administrators and emergency personnel.

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"Public Safety Agencies And Schools Emergency Communications Connected Under NIMS" Continued from page 1

Campus Safety Guides:
National Association of Attorneys General Campus Safety Guide
Overview of the Virginia Tech Tragedy and Implications for Campus Safety: The IACLEA Blueprint for Safer Campuses
New Jersey
North Carolina

New FEMA Certifications

Congratulations to those who completed their FEMA certifications in December and January!

Mutualink provides guidance and assistance to customers in meeting the goals of the National Incident Management System (NIMS) through ICS-700 and ICS-700a training.


Please call Craig Martin (856) 685-9298 or email: for information on scheduling and training.

First Name Last Name Agency City State ICS-100
Lou Bruno Berlin Public Schools Berlin CT   Jan-09  
Peter Germaine Berlin Public Schools Berlin CT Jan-09 Jan-09 Jan-09
Jim Sachs Berlin Public Schools Berlin CT   Jan-09  

Twelve additional Mutualink employees received both their ICS-100 and ICS-700 certifications.   Additionally,  eight others passed one FEMA course making 93% of Mutualink employees ICS-700 certified .

Note: There have been revisions and updates to the FEMA NIMS IS-700 course materials. Please begin using the IS-700.a materials immediately. If you have previously started the IS-700 course and need to take the final exam, you must complete the exam and obtain a passing score before February 13, 2009. After February 13, 2009, the IS 700 exam will no longer be available and you must take the IS-700.a  exam.

The current FEMA NIMS IS-700a on-line course can be accessed at:

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NRF Resource Center
National Response Framework (NRF)
NIMS Compliance Center
Incident Command System (ICS)
National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP)
Critical Infrastructure and Key Resources (CIKR)
ICS-100SC.a – I-100 For Schools
US Dept. of Education – Practical Information on Crisis Planning Guide
US Dept. of Education – Emergency Planning Resource Center
ICS-100HC for Hospitals

Mutualink is an affordable community-wide interoperable multi-media communications platform that links together police, fire, EMS, hospitals, schools, utilities, malls and other key community assets.

Through Mutualink, two-way radios, telephones, public address systems, video, and data files can be shared among parties on a real time incident basis providing critical communications that enhance preparedness and effective emergency management, coordination and response.

Mutualink’s pragmatic and affordable approach makes interoperable communications accessible to all high-value community assets such as schools and hospitals and places of massed gathering, creating completely interoperable communities.

Mutualink is an essential tool enabling NRF compliance and improving your community’s safety and readiness.

Architecture Overview
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