New Emergency Response Technology at the Republican National Convention

SAN FRANCISCO , Oct. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- For the first time, a new hi-tech solution to emergency response planning was used to help secure the Republican National Convention, held September 2008 at the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, MN. The Saint Paul Fire Department set a new standard for the first-response industry with its use of the Coordinated NIMS Incident Planner, or CNIP.

Developed by San Francisco -based Emergency Services Interactive Systems (, CNIP assists in the development and management of Incident Action Plans -- a government requirement for all response agencies, and, some say, an administrative nightmare. CNIP simplifies the planning process and allows for centralized management of emergency response procedures. CNIP meets all Incident Action Plan standards and criteria as mandated by the National Incidence Management System (NIMS) in Presidential Homeland Security Directive 5.

"With CNIP, we could make changes and update our plans," says Saint Paul Fire Captain Brian Kroeger , who used CNIP to manage his department's complex staffing requirements. A key advantage of the new software is its fully flexible platform -- a huge advantage in pre-planning or in an actual emergency, since both are guaranteed to change directions without notice.

Staffing the event meant a significant increase in personnel. While the SPFD's normal day consists of 115 fire and EMS workers, the Convention, the largest event ever handled by the city, required as many as 180 full-time fire and EMS workers to staff 12 operational periods -- a potential scheduling nightmare.

Kroeger says CNIP's interface, and its ability to drag and drop personnel on an organization tree, made the constant changes workable. "With that capability," he says, "I could more easily change reporting and move people around easily."

The full version of the SPFD's response strategy was 30 pages long, which would have been too cumbersome to use effectively. So the SPFD input their plan into CNIP and created one-page plans that were distributed to staff. The software's ease of use and flexibility simplified the process. "CNIP put the plan into a useable format," Kroeger says. "The one-page plans were easier to look at."

Fortunately, the Convention concluded without a major incident. Thousands of media people, some 12,000 protestors, almost 2,000 delegates and a couple thousand more Convention attendees added to the 3.2 million population of the Twin Cities metropolitan area. "It's a small area," says Kroeger. "If something were to happen, it would affect the whole area."

Although the SPFD used CNIP to manage its emergency response plan, CNIP can also develop Incident Action Plans and connect them to different agencies -- something that has never before been available. The software's debut at the 2007 All Star Game in San Francisco was a huge success and gave national attention to the possibilities offered by the new software. CNIP brought together agencies that had never before collaborated on a unified Incident Action Plan, including the Police and Fire Departments, Sheriff, Public Health, Transportation, Public Works, FBI, Homeland Security, Coast Guard and the 95th Civil Support Team.

Contact Information:

For more information about CNIP, call Stacy D. Horn at (415) 441-1366 or e-mail

For more information about Emergency Services Interactive Systems, visit or e-mail Dan Linehan at

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SOURCE Emergency Services Interactive Systems