Park and recreation departments hosting large events need a plan to keep the public safe should a mass shooting take place, writes Jennifer Elliott. A proactive plan should include mapping out various scenarios, establishing an effective evacuation and communication plan, and hosting drills for staff and local law enforcement.
The Detroit Zoo in Michigan said its Polk Penguin Conservation Center will undergo repairs for nine months starting Sept. 9. The zoo will place its penguins in the former penguinarium for the duration of the repair work.
Work is expected to begin in the fall to convert a former high school building in Farmington Hills, Michigan, into a $20 million recreation facility with an aquatic center and a performing arts center. The 245,000-square-foot center is expected to have a soft opening in the fall next year.
Ella Fitzgerald Park was developed by Spackman Mossop Michaels by combining 26 vacant lots into an area with orchards and open space in the Fitzgerald neighborhood of Detroit. The project is part of the Fitzgerald Neighborhood Revitalization Plan.
The city of Orient Heights, Mass., officially opened the rehabilitated Noyes Park, one of the area's largest public open spaces. The $4.7 million project was paid for through the mayor's Capital Plan and grants from the Parkland Acquisition and Renovations for Communities and Youth Lead the Change organizations.
James City County, Va., and the Chattanooga, Tenn., fire department are developing alternative services to reduce non-emergency calls such as lift assists which threaten to reduce response times to true emergencies and end up being costly. The Community Outreach Network Education Care Thrive program in Virginia seeks to help people have access to social programs, in-home care and other resources to address the root causes leading to the frequent calls.
The Schertz, Texas, city council commended a group of emergency dispatchers who saved a teenager's life by scouring databases to find his address after he contacted a helpline and said he had taken a medication overdose. He gave the hotline false information, but dispatchers were able to use his computer's IP address to locate him and send assistance.
The University of California at Davis Veterinary Emergency Response Team Medical Reserve Corps was recognized by the California Emergency Management Agency for its service during the wildfires in Butte County last year. The team provided triage, care and relocation preparation for large animals, birds and stray animals.
The 9-1-1 Board of Directors in Skagit County, Wash., is considering an efficiency measure that limits inclusion of paramedics to calls meeting certain severity criteria. The board is deciding between modifying its existing dispatch guidelines and purchasing ProQA software for $200,000.
Oakland County, Mich., has signed a $46.9 million contract with Motorola Solutions to revamp its emergency dispatch system, and Randolph County, Mo., is considering an upgrade that involves a Motorola product. Logan County, W.Va., has become the state's first agency to install Carbyne Inc.'s c-Lite NG9-1-1 plugin, while the Newton, N.J., police department has updated its communication center with Smart9-1-1 software.