U.S. Marine Bases Standardize Emergency Reponse

Marine Corps Maj. Mark Simmons, systems engineer for CERS and Enhanced 911 at Marine Corps Systems Command, said "CERS aggregates multiple capabilities -- E911, Computer-Aided Dispatch, incident records management, and fire station alerting -- into a single workstation, giving emergency dispatchers the ability to quickly, and more accurately, dispatch the appropriate assets where necessary in the shortest time possible."

U.S. Marine Corps bases worldwide are implementing the Consolidated Emergency Response System, or CERS, which standardizes emergency dispatching capabilities and provides emergency first responders with enhanced command and coordination to support all hazardous response missions on Marine Corps installations, Ashley Calingo of Marine Corps Systems Command reported June 14.

Calingo reported that CERS was conceived after the 2009 shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, in which 13 people died and 43 were wounded or injured. "A Defense Department review of the tragedy highlighted opportunities for improved emergency response procedures and capabilities throughout the DoD. In response, the Marine Corps created the CERS program, a multifaceted system that integrates modernized equipment and software to expedite and streamline emergency response activities," according to the report.

"The Consolidated Emergency Response System standardizes and modernizes emergency dispatching capabilities across the Marine Corps," Marine Corps Maj. Mark Simmons, systems engineer for CERS and Enhanced 911 at Marine Corps Systems Command, said. "CERS aggregates multiple capabilities -- E911, Computer-Aided Dispatch, incident records management, and fire station alerting -- into a single workstation, giving emergency dispatchers the ability to quickly, and more accurately, dispatch the appropriate assets where necessary in the shortest time possible."

Calingo reported that CERS was implemented in two phases: The first involved installation of the E911 system on Marine Corps bases worldwide beginning in 2014, while the second involved installation of Computer-Aided Dispatch, incident records management, and fire station alerting capabilities. E911 provides enhanced caller location information to emergency dispatchers and also establishes 911 as the only number to call for emergencies at Marine Corps bases. "Previously, a lot of bases had a standard base telephone number that they'd call for emergency, fire, law enforcement, or emergency medical services, instead of simply dialing 911. Now, emergency calls are routed to a single place. Any time there's an emergency on base, dial 911," Simmons said.

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