Front Range Emergency Management Conference, Colorado

Start Date: 09/26/2019


HOPE was invited to the first annual Front Range Emergency Management Conference on the campus of University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS), to address inter agency networking, preparedness, and to present speakers on related topics and incident evaluations. Attendees were from regional and local law enforcement, military, fire and EMS, communications, Humane Society, CERT, VOAD, etc. Because of previous deployments and contacts with these agencies, our HOPE dogs were often recognized and even called by name. Remarks heard were "Wow, you're going to be the most popular booth here!" "I was hoping the HOPE dogs would be here." During meeting breaks in a common area outside the conference hall, we interacted with many students as well and one young woman said she was so happy to pet Kara because she had a test in half an hour. As the business of the conference began we moved to an assigned table on the floor of the hall with each table holding ten seats. Our four dogs rested quietly, occasionally nudging a neighbor's hand for petting and attendees didn't seem at all concerned about having to step over/around them. It was clear their quiet presence was welcomed.

This was a fairly large conference and UCCS did a wonderful job of organizing, accommodating and feeding attendees and vendors such as HOPE. It was logistically challenging on a busy campus with parking and space limitations. Although we arrived on time at 6:45 there was no one there to hand out parking permits and give directions to the Hall as we'd been told. Our TL wasn't able to arrive till lunch time but our four teams worked well together finding resources and spelling each other for bathroom breaks and getting food/coffee. Since we overheard plans for holding this conference next year, it'll be good to have a TL from the outset. One glitch that I still am confused about is that as Vendors we were told to arrive at 6:45 to enable being set up by 7:15, which of course we did. However, nothing much happened until attendees arrived after 8 AM for a meeting start time of 9 AM, leaving us with nearly an hour of dead time.

Agency: Pikes Peak Regional Office of Emergency Management

Lee Fernholz & Grace, Ann Ringler & Kara, Dawn Griebelbauer & Keeper, Sandy Miller TL