Community Emergency Response Team volunteers went on a scavenger hunt of sorts last Saturday as they searched for signs placed around town representing downed wires, fallen trees and resident complaints. The goal was to simulate the kinds of problems that have arisen in Ridgefield during past storms as they tried a new program called “Crises Track.” Crises Track can relay information in real time including photos back to the Emergency Operations Center or to the police, fire and highway departments where trained personnel can assess damage. The program will prioritize areas that are critical, which then show up on a map that can be shared with police, fire, highway and Eversource. It can also keep track of volunteer hours and other types of information required by FEMA for reimbursement.
“Today was all about seeing what it takes to get it up and running, how well it is working, and what are we getting out of it,” says Sean McEvoy, coordinator of the Ridgefield Emergency Operations center, who works closely with Emergency Operations Director Dick Aarons.
“The software is great, but you need the people to be willing and able to use it,” says First Selectman, Rudy Marconi. “Today, we have people here volunteering their time to learn a new application. This will improve the level of service that we deliver to the people of Ridgefield during an emergency.”