FBI - Mass Casualty Incident MeetingStart Date: 10/16/2019
The Washington County MN Emergency Manager (EM) did a virtual introduction to connect me with Lauren Schmitz and Lisa Smith, both FBI-Mpls Victim Specialists (referred to here as the FBI-VS). The EM has worked with both HOPE & FBI on Family Assistance Planning and believed that it was important that we be connected prior to any mass casualty incident. The FBI-VS agreed and were very interested in learning more about HOPE and how we would be able to assist them. The FBI-VS currently has only two comfort-type dogs available for use nationally. It's difficult for two dogs to support the entire United States, so the Mpls FBI-VS was eager to learn about HOPE and the availability of the teams not only in MN but nationally. They feel it's important to have several dogs available for a mass casualty incident.
I shared HOPE's mission, training, policy and procedures with them. I also discussed the differences between HOPE and other available groups. They shared that it's very important to them that all dogs & handlers be screened and undergo regular background checks. I gave them each a folder containing the following information: My HOPE Letter of Certification, HOPE's Certificate of Insurance, a HOPE brochure, and the MWR Information Sheet, along with a Frequently Asked Question Sheet, which details our level of training. I also included a 9x11 Regional Map (to highlight HOPE's national availability of teams) and several HOPE endorsement letters. The support HOPE offers and HOPE's screening, training and professionalism are what they are looking for and they plan to share our information.
We also discussed how we would contact each other if there is an incident, and plans are to work together in the future. In order to prepare us to support them, Lauren & Lisa offered to meet again with all the MN teams (Teams Gioia, Ivy & Winston) to detail exactly how they set-up an assistance center and work during an incident. I agreed that it would be valuable training and will make arrangements with them and the other teams.Agency: FBI - Minneapolis MN