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Mission Manager Receives Homeland Security SAFETY Act Designation for its Incident Management Software; DT&E Credential Demonstrates Commitment to Providing Highly Secure Software Solutions

Mission Manager, Inc. announced it has earned the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Developmental Testing & Evaluation (DT&E) designation for its incident management software – a cloud-based tool that has helped first responders save lives and property in approximately 7,000 missions since its inception.

The DT&E designation was instituted by the DHS to encourage the development of “promising anti-terrorism technologies” by providing legal liability protections under the Support Anti-terrorism by Fostering Effective prsafety-imageTechnologies (SAFETY Act) of 2002.

To earn the DT&E designation, Mission Manager underwent a rigorous application process with DHS that included user interviews and evaluation of the software’s security levels, data integrity, infrastructure, in-place insurance,
and systems of internal and quality control.

“Receiving the DT&E credential is a major milestone in the evolution of Mission Manager,” said Michael J. Berthelot, President and CEO of Mission Manager, Inc. “It illustrates our commitment to ensuring the highest level of operational effectiveness and data security to our customers – including law enforcement agencies, emergency operation centers, and fire and rescue personnel – while validating our respect for their highly sensitive, critical missions.”

Developed by a first responder as “freeware” in 2011, Mission Manager was re-launched in July 2014 as a subscription-based model with significant improvements in infrastructure, data security and technical support. These enhancements included moving Mission Manager to new servers at Amazon Web Services, which delivers a scalable cloud-computing platform with high availability and dependability in compliance with security best practices and IT standards.

With the DT&E designation, Mission Manager is formally classified as a Qualified Anti-Terrorism Technology (QATT) by the Department of Homeland Security. This designation provides certain liability protections as set forth in the SAFETY Act for both Mission Manager and its customers in the event of a covered act of terrorism.

“We will work diligently with the DHS, our key customers and partners as Mission Manager undergoes further testing and evaluation during the SAFETY Act certification process,” said Berthelot.

Based on the core principals of Preparation, Readiness and Execution, Mission Manager provides a team-based operational environment for day-to-day tasks and serves as a real-time, shared situational awareness Command Center during incidents.

The web-based software provides a turnkey solution for personnel and asset management, mission planning, real-time communications, tracking on robust maps and automated reporting. Above all, Mission Manager provides a common operational picture on multiple devices in disparate locations, ensuring a unified command and quicker response effort. It replaces the pen-and-paper and spreadsheet process of managing personnel and producing reports, saving agencies significant time and money.

About Mission Manager
Mission Manager provides cloud-based software designed to help save lives and property by enabling first responders to operate more efficiently and effectively. Mission Manager’s team member and asset management capabilities, combined with its calendar and communication functions, allows users to enhance team readiness through optimized training and seamlessly integrate mission-specific operations during real-time events. Since 2011, Mission Manager has supported approximately 7,000 actual missions ranging from single-person rescues to large public events and full-scale natural disaster response. Mission Manager is currently used in all 50 US states, and on every continent except Antarctica. Truly a global tool, Mission Manager is available in 80 languages. For learn more, visit https://www.missionmanager.com

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Learn How an Automated Incident Management Software Tool can Improve Emergency Preparedness and Response – Anywhere at Anytime in the Cloud

Today’s emergency managers face enormous pressure when faced with a natural disaster, as evidenced by the major floods, hurricanes and fires that have devastated parts of the nation in recent months. Agency leaders need to be prepared – long before a disaster strikes – so they can deploy the right people with the right qualifications at a moment’s notice.

During deployments, emergency managers / incident commanders need to effectively manage their field-deployed personnel and spontaneous volunteers.  They need to see a common operational picture to make split-second decisions, and quickly produce reports for legal compliance and reimbursements.

However, field leaders often have inadequate situational awareness due to geographical and device restraints. The traditional method of managing incidents with pen-and-paper, push-pin boards and traditional paper maps are EMgraphic1inefficient and not shareable.  It is also difficult and expensive for first responders to communicate across the myriad of communications networks and radio systems.

Add to that the laborious process of managing a team’s assets and personnel data – including members’ medical history, training and certifications – using manual spreadsheets. Additionally, preparing after action reports required for federal reimbursements can be a time-consuming, administrative-heavy task.

Reducing the Burden with Automation

The good news is that incident management software tools like Mission Manager can automate the entire process – improving efficiency and effectiveness of front-line responders and their agencies.

An automated solution significantly reduces the burden for emergency managers and incident commanders, allowing them to focus on protecting the public.  It also saves their agencies money by reducing overtime hours and consolidating disparate systems.

Cloud-based Mission Manager provides a one-stop integrated solution for team and asset management, real-time communications, situational awareness with robust maps, and automated reporting capabilities.

Mission Manager can help emergency management agencies become more proactive vs. reactive – and ultimately improve response times – because it is based on the core principles of “Preparation. Readiness. Execution.”

Managing Teams and Missions on a Common Operating Platform

As a daily team management tool, Mission Manager provides the current status and qualifications of members, including training, certifications and expirations. Administrators can also easily track and manage their team’s equipment and maintenance schedules.

Because this data is readily available, emergency managers can quickly determine who is qualified and available to respond when an emergency strikes.

When used as an online command center, Mission Manager helps ensure 360-degree situational awareness. It provides a common operational picture – on multiple devices – that can be shared among agencies in multiple jurisdictions that are responding to the mission.

Mission Manager features robust mapping capabilities with more than 90 mapping overlays, including topography, natural hazards, locations of hospitals and police departments, as well as social media feeds at points of interest.

Highly secure and customizable, Mission Manager’s robust database provides a second-by-second record of every event. This data can be easily exported for ICS NIMS compliant reports.

Mission Manager has supported more than 6,500 missions around the world since 2011, ranging from single-person rescues to large public events and full-scale natural disaster response. Mission Manager is currently used in all 50 U.S. states, and on every continent except Antarctica. Truly a global tool, Mission Manager is available in 80 languages.

To learn how Mission Manager can assist your agency, email us at info@missionmanager.com or call 877-257-8240.

Mission Manager Experts to Facilitate Virtual Search Mission, June 5, at National Search and Rescue Conference (SARCON 2015)

Attendees at the upcoming National Search and Rescue Conference (SARCON 2015) will have the opportunity to participate in a virtual search mission and learn how to use cloud-based incident management software for an emergency response during a presentation scheduled Friday, June 5, in Estes Park, Colorado.

The presentation will be facilitated by Mission Manager technical experts, Eric Hanigan and Chris Stevens, on Friday June 5, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the YMCA of the Rockies.  It will feature a mock lost person incident that revolves around two boys who went missing near the YMCA camp in the Colorado Rockies.

Attendees can learn how to manage and track all aspects of the search effort on their own laptops, smartphones or tablets. The mission will include 14 virtual search members, a SAR K9, a Command Post, and clues such as footprints and gum wrappers. This field information, along with other points of interest, will appear on live mission maps of the area surrounding the YMCA camp where the boys may have wondered off.

SARCON attendees interested in participating in the virtual mission are encouraged to pre-register and receive login information by emailing info@missionmanager.com. To see an overview of the topics to be covered, download the PDF presentation.

In addition to the presentation, Mission Manager representatives will provide hands-on demos at the company’s booth #118. Here, the staff will show how search-andSARCON Evite - Mission Manager-rescue personnel can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their missions – and help save lives and property – through its robust incident management software.

Based on Preparation, Readiness and Execution, Mission Manager uniquely provides an operational environment for daily team management and also serves as an online command center. In the field, Mission Manager provides a common operational picture for members in multiple locations using multiple devices.  After the incident, administrators can produce instant reports with analytics needed for legal compliance, debriefs and reimbursements.

SARCON 2015 – a multifaceted training forum and exhibition that caters exclusively to SAR professionals from around the nation – is sponsored by the National Association for Search and RescueColorado Search and Rescue Board and Mountain Rescue Association. In addition, the Larimer County Search and Rescue of Fort Collins, Colorado, will serve as the local host team.

For more information about SARCON, please visit http://www.coloradosarboard.org/SARCON.shtml

To learn more about Mission Manager, see our 3-minute narrated video. Or visit our YouTube Channel to see our full line of videos, including instructional training videos.

 

 

Mission Manager in 2014: A Year in Review

As 2014 comes to a close, Mission Manager would like to take the opportunity to thank our loyal customers and supporters, and also highlight some of our accomplishments during this exciting, transitional year. Mission Manager has helped first responders save lives and property for more than three years, but the story behind our cloud-based software truly began to unfold last summer. That’s when we re-launched Mission Manager from “freeware” to a subscription-based model, as noted in this 2014 wrap-up report.

Mission Manager has been a popular, cloud-based incident management tool since its initial development in 2011. The software has supported more than 5,000 missions in all 50 states and 20 countries – ranging from single-person rescues to large-scale emergencies and public events. Users include search-and-rescue organizations, fire departments, law enforcement agencies and emergency operation centers.

Nonetheless, after acquiring Mission Manager last spring, we essentially began with a clean sheet of paper. In preparation for the re-launch on July 15, we surveyed our customers to learn what they liked about Mission Manager and what needed to be improved. And, we listened to their recommendations.

IMG_0396-l0wAmong the enhancements, the company made significant upgrades to the infrastructure that bolstered its security and uptime rate, while strengthening technical and customer support services.  We also developed a tiered pricing structure to meet the needs of agencies of all sizes, and developed a grant program to assist qualifying, non-profit, 401(c) organizations.

In addition, Mission Manager established a whole new identity in a relatively short timeframe. It was a comprehensive branding effort that included developing a new website, social media sites, brochures and videos – all with a new logo and professional look & feel.  We wrote case studies about our customers, embarked on partnerships and sponsorships, made presentations at conferences throughout California, and kicked off our trade show program at a major emergency management exposition.

Today, we’re developing a comprehensive advertising program that includes a mix of print and digital media, and we’re also preparing to exhibit at several conferences in 2015. Above all, our executives are working with leaders in the nation’s capital to ensure federal grant funds are readily available for qualifying customers.

We are proud to have the opportunity to invest in Mission Manager to help our first responders serve their communities. But all this could not have been possible without the ingenuity and forethought of the developer – a reserve law enforcement officer and firefighter who has a background in programming.

Based on his firsthand experience, he figured there had to be a better way to coordinate missions rather than using disparate communications tools and scraps of paper. So utilizing his computer background, he developed a web-based solution that was uniquely tailored to first responders.

As a free tool, Mission Manager quickly became a big hit – especially with voluntary organizations that had limited funding. It was so popular, in fact, that the developer could not keep up with the growing demands for upgrades, support and better security. That’s when our parent company stepped in and acquired Mission Manager.

It’s never an easy undertaking to ask existing customers to pay for products/services that were previously free. However, the feedback from our supporters has been very positive, as indicated by our case studies and growing customer base, and we are committed to making continuous enhancements in the coming year and beyond.

Our priorities in 2015 include completing the development of the Mission Manager Tracker app as well as auto-filled and editable ICS forms, making further enhancements to security, and incorporating additional mapping layers.

But before we leap into the New Year, let’s recap some of our accomplishments in 2014:

MISSION MANAGER RE-LAUNCHED


July 15, 2014
– Mission Manager is officially re-launched with significant improvements in infrastructure, data security and technical support. The enhancements include moving Mission Manager to new servers at Amazon Web Services, or AWS, which delivers a scalable cloud-computing platform with high availability and dependability in compliance with security best practices and IT standards.

Other improvements include continuous database backups to enable point-in-time recovery of user data. Mission Manager has also enlisted dedicated staff to provide technical support via the phone, face-to-face, email forums and training videos. 

PRESENTATIONS / SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS

L-firstnet-logo-smallestFIRSTNET, AUG. 12 (BAKERSFIELD, CA) – Mission Manager’s President and CEO makes a presentation at the FirstNet Town Hall meeting, organized by the California Office of Emergency Services. The Town Hall is attended by dozens of first responders and public safety professionals at the Kern County Board of Supervisors Chambers.

FirstNet – an acronym for the First Responder Network Authority – was created under the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (MCTRJCA) with the vision to “provide emergency responders with the first nationwide, high-speed, wireless broadband network dedicated to public safety.” The law includes provisions to fund and govern a Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN), reallocate the 700 MHz D Block spectrum for public safety, and authorize the FCC to conduct spectrum auctions to raise $7 billion for building and managing the new network.

Expanded broadband access will ensure that first responders have dedicated telecommunications channels, even when all lines are saturated during large-scale disasters.   The speakers and panel addressed the FirstNet vision, its cost and potential impact on public safety.

SSARCC MEETING, OCT. 21 (SACRAMENTO, CA)Mission Manager representatives are invited to speak at the quarterly California State SAR Coordinators Council Meeting (SSARCC) in Sacramento, sponsored by Cal OES Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.  The SSARCC meetings are held quarterly to keep state’s Sheriff’s Search and Rescue coordinators abreast of current issues and SAR operations throughout the state.

Approximately 40 of the 58 California counties are represented at the meeting, held at Cal OES’ headquarters at Mather, Calif.  Representing Mission Manager were Olaf Walter, Chief Operating Officer, and Eric Hanigan, Technical Support Lead, who has over 20 years’ experience as a first responder.

SPONSORSHIPS

today showAHA HERO DOG, SEPT. 27 Mission Manager sponsors the Search and Rescue K9 nominee, Bretagne, of Cypress, Texas, during the 2014 American Humane Association’s Hero Dog Awards™ gala that aired Oct. 30 on the Hallmark Channel. The Hero Dog Awards were created to celebrate the powerful relationship between dogs and people, and recognize extraordinary acts of heroism performed by ordinary dogs.

As one of eight Hero Dog nominees, Bretagne (pronounced “Brittany”), is a 15-year-old golden retriever who is one of two surviving search dogs from Ground Zero after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. She now works with the Cy Fair Volunteer Fire Department helping school kids learn to read – just by listening.

Based on one million votes by the American public, the American Humane Association is honored to recognize Susie a Pit Bull/Shepherd mix in the therapy dog category as the 2014 American Hero Dog. Susie was nearly burned to death, but lived to help her owner and inspire tougher laws to punish animal abuse in North Carolina.

NASAR logoNASAR eNEWS, SEPT. 19 – Mission Manager sponsors the National Association for Search and Rescue’s   NASAR eNews publication and also offers a 10% discount to NASAR referrals who purchase Mission Manager.

NASAR is an education association comprised of thousands of dedicated paid and nonpaid personnel — all active or interested in search and rescue, disaster aid, emergency medicine and awareness education. NASAR works closely with other organizations such as the Mountain Rescue Association, and the National Park Service (NPS) to help further the advancement of professional, literary and scientific knowledge and training in these fields.

TRADE SHOWS

EMEX / IAEM, NOV. 18-19 (SAN ANTONIO, TX) – Mission Manager exhibits at the Emergency Management & Homeland Security Expo (EMEX), which is the annual expo of the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM). At the expo, Mission Manager joins forces with Houston-based HELP Disaster Management, Inc. – a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that supports the emergency management community in the areas of incident management, event management, planning support, and training and exercise.

Mission Manager’s robust software is demonstrated at Mission Manager’s booth as well as the HELP Disaster Management’s exhibit during its VIP Tours. HELP Management’s exhibit is held in a large, deployable shelter provided by Western Shelter Systems.  On hand are nearly a dozen Incident Management Team (IMT) members, who are part of a multi-disciplinary 50-member team available to support local, regional state and national responses.

COLLABORATIONS

team-31AHA RED STAR TEAM, SEPT. 24 Mission Manager collaborates with the American Humane Association (AHA) to enhance the association’s Red Star® team’s nationwide animal rescue efforts.   Under the arrangement, Mission Manager donates its software to the Red Star team and a portion of its revenues to the American Humane Association.

AHA’s Red Star volunteer responders are trained to help animals during or after a disaster, or as a result of animal cruelty – bringing vital skills in animal handling as well as necessary supplies and resources to setup and operate temporary shelters and/or conduct field rescue missions.

The organization’s Red Star rescue work began in 1916 when they were asked by the War Department to help save hundreds of thousands of horses that were wounded on the European battlefields of World War I. Since then, Red Star has been involved in virtually every major relief effort, from Pearl Harbor to 9/11, the earthquakes in Haiti and Japan, and Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy. During the past 10 years, Red Star has rescued, helped and sheltered more than 10,000 animals hurt in catastrophes and cruelty cases.

ENHANCED TECHNICAL SUPPORT

HELP WIKI, OCT. 8 – Mission Manager completes development of its “Help Wiki” page – an updated version of its “Help” tab – which can be found at www.missionmanager.info or accessed directly from any of the Mission Manager tabs by clicking on the “Help” button at the bottom right corner of the screen.  Here, users can find detailed instructions for nearly three dozen topics as well as additional resources, including our Technical Support department and Support Community with a searchable database for guidance as well as our FAQ section and Videos/Tutorials.

Mission Manager Strengthens Powerful First Responder Tool

SAN DIEGO, CA, July 15, 2014 – Mission Manager, Inc. today announced the re-launch of its cloud-based incident manager tool that has helped first responders save lives and property in approximately 5,000 missions, including the 2014 San Diego fires and Boston Marathon. Product upgrades to the powerful first responder tool include significant improvements in infrastructure, data security and technical support.

Mission Manager – the most widely used incident management tool of its kind – provides a turnkey solution for mission planning, preparation and real-time situational awareness during live missions. Featuring a robust database with automated reporting tools, multiple communication vehicles and extensive mapping overlays, Mission Manager essentially replaces the manual process of managing callouts by pen and paper, and producing reports via spreadsheets. Mission Manager ensures teams are ready to deploy at a moment’s notice.

Developed as a free solution by a San Diego first responder, Mission Manager has been used by more than 1,200 local, state, national and international agencies in all 50 U.S. states and 20 countries over the past three years. Users include search-and-rescue organizations, fire departments, law enforcement agencies and emergency operation centers. Their missions range from single-person rescues to public events and large-scale natural disasters.

In an effort to meet growing customer requirements, Mission Manager was recently acquired by Poway, California’s Ambient Alert, Inc. Renamed Mission Manager, Inc., the company has invested significant resources to improve functionality, data integrity and technical support.

Among the recent enhancements, Mission Manager was moved to new servers at Amazon Web Services, which deliver a scalable cloud computing platform with high availability and dependability in compliance with security best practices and IT standards.  Other improvements include continuous database backups to enable point-in-time recovery of data. Mission Manager has also enlisted dedicated staff to provide technical support via the phone, face-to-face, email forums and training videos. 

“We respect the critical and sensitive work of first responder organizations. That’s why we invested in a more robust solution with solid security,” said Mike Berthelot, Mission Manager President and Chief Executive Officer. “Our company’s flexible pricing model also ensures that Mission Manager will be available to the broadest possible user group, so first responders can continue serving their communities with their critical missions.”

Mission Manager’s new pricing structure serves both smaller search-and rescue organizations as well as national organizations with very specific needs. Under the tiered pricing model, Mission Manager will be available for a full year for less than the cost of one month’s cell phone service for each user. Mission Manager has also established First Responder Grants covering up to 50% of the annual license fee to qualifying non-profit, volunteer community-based search-and-rescue and CERT organizations.

“We believe first responders are investing in their future with Mission Manager,” said Berthelot. “It provides them with a high degree of readiness so they can execute their missions more effectively and efficiently.  We are pleased to be a partner in their critical work, and in turn, help save them lives and protect property.”

HOW IT WORKS

Designed to be used on a daily basis, Mission Manager ensures that users are prepared to react before an incident occurs. It is based on three core principles: Preparation, Readiness and Execution.  It provides a team-based operational environment for day-to-day tasks and also serves as an online command center during incidents.

When used as a daily tool, Mission Manager tracks and manages everything from attendance records, training, and missions to issued weapons and equipment. It also automates the reporting process, including tracking member’s hours and producing inventory reports, in order to fulfill requirements for standard reports and government reimbursements.

In the Greater Boston area, for instance, the Metropolitan Law Enforcement Council’s SWAT team used Mission Manager to enhance security at the 2014 Boston Marathon. As a daily user of the program, Sgt. Jim West said his team at MetroLEC relied on Mission Manager to gather the documentation needed to manage team member assignments and send SMS messages to members during the marathon.

“Mission Manager saved us hours of briefing time during the Boston Marathon. It made the team much more effective and efficient,” West said. “We’ve come to rely on Mission Manager.”

During a crisis, Mission Manager allows agencies to efficiently manage mission data via their laptops or mobile apps, significantly enhancing situational awareness. It allows commanders to track all phases of the event in real time, including team locations, event/radio logs and assignment status. It provides a common operational picture across multiple devices with extensive mapping overlays with categories such as topography, aviation, weather, hospitals, police and fire stations, schools, social media feeds, transportation features and natural hazards, including earthquake fault lines, floods, hurricanes and fires.

During the San Diego fires in May, Mission Manager helped the San Diego County Animal Response Team save the lives of over 100 animals, including 70 horses, according to Tony Sawyer, volunteer with the San Diego County Animal Response Team.

“Mission Manager played an important role in helping us track our personnel in the field, and the location where the animals were found and impounded,” said Sawyer, who has served as the team’s administrator for the past three years. “Prior to adopting Mission Manager, everything was done manually on scraps of paper.”

Sawyer noted that Mission Manager was also valuable in producing automated reports after the fires, since the database tracked each member’s tasks, hours and mileage logged into the system.  “We used Mission Manager to produce our after action reports, which we had to present to the county to highlight what we did during the fires,” Sawyer said, adding that it also produced the documentation required to receive reimbursements from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA.

Mission Manager is available for a 30-day free trial to new users via its website at http://www.MissionManager.com.

MAJOR FEATURES

Mission Manager enables first responders to:

  • Track all personnel contact information, including training, certifications and expirations, and medical information
  • Organize events, request RSVPs and sign up for events via the team calendar
  • Print standard ICS and NIMS forms, such as team assignments, mission status, logs, etc.
  • Maintain records for personal gear, team equipment and vehicles
  • Customize login access levels for each team member
  • Upload documents; control who can see and edit them
  • Generate personnel timekeeping and detailed mission time reports
  • Track deployed personnel in real time on maps
  • Create, assign and track team member tasks
  • Track the status of personnel responding to missions
  • Track “clues” with automated reports and locate them on mission maps automatically
  • Drag-and-drop available personnel in standard ICS positions or on team assignments
  • Callout line where members can receive information/mission callout telephone, SMS or email

New enhancements for the product include:

  • An uptime guarantee of 99.9% through infrastructure upgrades
  • Improved security and reliability of user data
  • Full-service technical support
  • Onsite and web-based training

 

Mission Manager Plays a Critical Role for the N.J. Ramapo Rescue Dog Association

When Dave Hubbell joined the Ramapo Rescue Dog Association three years ago, he discovered that its first responders relied on a pen and paper at Basecamp to manage their K9 search and rescue missions. A quick Google search led him to Mission Manager – the software tool that would forever change the way they would do business. Mission Manager gave the New Jersey-based organization the tools they needed to fulfill their mission – to locate missing persons and save lives – efficiently and effectively.

“We love Mission Manager. It plays a huge role in helping us manage our equipment, plan our training sessions and organize our mobilizations,”said Hubbell, a retired corporate pilot who serves as the group’s Mission Manager Administrator and radio operator. Hubbell also utilizes Mission Manager for NJ DSTAR ham operators group and as a trial for the Sparta Township Community Emergency Response Team.

Hubbell is among 25 volunteers with the Ramapo Rescue Dog Association, which utilizes air-scenting German Shepherds to help locate missing individuals in wilderness and disaster situations. A handful of its volunteers and their canines were on-hand at the national NASAR conference, June 4-6, in New Jersey to showcase their organization and attend various educational and training sessions.

“Being a volunteer combines several loves – working with your best friend who’s devoted to you and also having the opportunity to serve the community. We all have a great passion for what we do,” said Penny Sullivan, the group’s operational leader who was among the founding members.

The association, established in 1971, is a member of the National Association of Search and Rescue, and the Search and Rescue Council of New Jersey. Since then, the association has conducted numerous searches throughout the Eastern and Central United States, including finding missing persons in wilderness and urban areas, crime scene evidence recovery, and large scale disasters such as Ground Zero.

“With the proliferation of GPS apps on cell phones, we have fewer and fewer missing persons cases these days, so unfortunately, many of our missions involve locating human remains,” said Sullivan. “It is extremely rewarding, in either case, when we do find a missing person –thanks to the help of our K9 friends.”

It is not easy – or cheap – becoming certified as a Search and Rescue K9 team, she noted. Both the dog and handler must complete two years of intensive training and pay for their own expenses, including gas and equipment. The training consists of first responder medical training; K9 medical training; and map, compass and GPS navigation training. The area of training is in wilderness, urban and water rescue, both live and cadaver.

The association’s operational teams and other volunteers continue training twice monthly to keep their skills sharp. As with the actual deployments, the volunteers rely on Mission Manager to organize their training sessions. The software helps them develop the mock scenarios, including checking-in and checking-out personnel, creating subject profiles, setting up task assignments and mapping out the search areas.

In fact, Hubbell says the most frequent uses of Mission Manager are the forms, maps and tasking capabilities. “We certainly put it to good use for our searches – particularly the mapping functions, which are critical when operating in rugged wilderness terrains,” he said. “Along these lines, I would like to commend the developer, Mike Baily. The product is excellent and can only get better.”

For more information about the Ramapo Rescue Dog Association, see www.ramaporescuedog.org