July 20, 2021

Emergency Management Introduces Public Safety Hub for Emergency Information

Every year our area experiences flash flooding, wind events that cause debris or snow events that can affect travel on our roads here in Pennington County. Depending on how wide an area impacted or what drainages are affected, multiple roads could be impassable depending on the extent of the emergency occurring. In past years this information was noted and released to the public using different outlets, some by a press release, some on social media and some not at all. This lack of process can be confusing about who closed it, why it was closed and when it might be back open.

The NEW! Pennington County Public Safety Hub hopes to solve the confusion that can occur during emergency events by collecting transportation impact information in one location from the various public safety agencies out in the field, who either discover, or have been notified by a 9-1-1 caller that a transportation impact exists. The GIS powered “Public Safety Hub” contains an interactive map of Pennington County and allows those in the field to indicate impact locations in near real-time, in only a few seconds. While the “Hub” map gives responders better situational awareness of what is happening throughout the county, the “Hub” also allows the community the opportunity to see this information at the same time.

Access the Public Safety Hub at www.pennco.org/publicsafetyhub

How does it work? An impacted location is notated on the map by a responder in the field (public works, fire, or law enforcement). The location is shown on the “Hub” map with a red circle with a dash through it, indicating a particular location has an identified problem. When you tap or click on the icon, a pop-out window shows the type of impact, cause of the impact, exact location of the impact, if signage has been placed, the type of agency reporting and date/time reported. In addition, the “Public Safety Hub” site is desktop and mobile friendly and contains Twitter feeds for 6 of our public safety agencies, an additional map showing medical facility locations in Pennington County and links to many of our local Pennington County public safety agency websites.

“This Public Safety Hub has been in discussion for several years,” stated Dustin Willett, Rapid City-Pennington County Emergency Manager. “We are excited to see it come to fruition. It brings our public safety partners together with the knowledge of what is happening during emergency events, and the ability to share and better inform our local community and traveling public during these incidents.” Check out this short video to see visually how the “Public Safety Hub” map will have information placed. VIDEO *

The “Public Safety Hub” Map will contain Transportation Impacts to start, however, the long-term goal is to have additional icons and information to indicate when any of the Community Lifelines are affected in Pennington County. FEMA Community Lifelines include: Safety and Security; Food, Water, Shelter; Health and Medical; Energy; Communications; Transportation; Hazardous Material. Community Lifelines were created by FEMA to help understand and communicate incident impacts using plain language, and promote unity of effort across the whole community to prioritize efforts to stabilize the lifelines during incident response.

Visit the www.pennco.org/publicsafetyhub and bookmark this location for quick access in the future. For additional safety information and how to prepare your family and be ready for disasters, visit www.rcpcem.com

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* Video link: https://app.vyond.com/videos/e8193dfd-6434-45fd-a856-f25e6ccab674 

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