August 14, 2014 --
Opened ceiling tiles, visible wiring and cable lines, along the main corridor and wings throughout Building 3500 the past few weeks, are all indicators of progress to Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany’s mass notification system.
Recently, installation safety and emergency management officials discussed benefits of the upgrade, the process for making notifications to the base community and how it correlates with procedures and upgrades in MCLB Albany’s Emergency Operations Center.
According to Willie Briskey, physical security chief, Marine Corps Police Department, MCLB Albany, the new system replaced “outdated, antiquated speakers with directional and bidirectional speakers” as well as emergency strobe lights installed around the building for the visual or hearing impaired.
“The purpose of the upgrade is to install stronger speakers, additional speakers throughout the main corridors as well as the wings,” Briskey pointed out. “That way, with the power boost, personnel will be better able to hear the announcements.”
Briskey further explained the system’s reach across the base and how it allows either notifications to single areas in individual buildings or mass base populations when there are emergency situations, which may impact the base community.
“(We) can target areas or individual buildings on base (we) wish to use the mass notification system in,” Briskey said. “Mass notification is used for early warnings systems, such as man-made disasters and/or mother-nature disasters as far as inclement weather, hurricanes, tornadoes and (things) of that nature.
“It gives us an opportunity to (implement) plans we have in place or (to) shelter in place,
and we can go ahead and utilize those safety precautions and get to safe grounds or safe locations aboard the base,” he said.
In order to facilitate additional safety concerns during a crisis or emergency announcements, Briskey also cautions motorists to “stop, look and listen,” pullover and lower their windows so they can get clarity on the situation.
“The main thing is when people think they hear something, they need to turn off their radios and/or any other listening devices so they can listen to the big voice as the towers are strategically placed throughout the base,” he emphasized. “To get the maximum opportunity for personnel who are outside they just need to pay attention to and follow the instructions given out by the big voice.”
Adam Iudiciani, anti-terrorism officer, MCLB Albany, also discussed the purpose and advantage of the upgrade to the EOC’s secondary system.
“The purpose of the upgrade was to integrate the capabilities we had in the past in the building and the quality so that the clarity is better than it was,” he said. “The system we had was kind of outdated and we lost a lot of clarity internally in the build-ing. Secondly, the system here is designed for an alternate means of mass notifications. In the event we need to use it here in the EOC, we have the capability.”
Steven Dancer, installation emergency manager, MCLB Albany, further emphasized his opinion of the value of the mass notification system to the installation.
“The value of the ‘giant voice’ is (that) it allows us to put out warnings to the populous, whether it’s active duty, civilian personnel and family members of active duty to give them enough information, hopefully ahead of time before any incidents happen,” Dancer said. “Whether it’s a lockdown for an active shooter or to seek shelter because of a tornado – it allows us to get that warning out there.”
“It’s about protecting lives in the event the unthinkable happens,” Dancer pointed out. “And, that’s really what it’s all about.”
In addition to the mass notification system, safety and emergency officials said the base community may also receive critical announcements by registering on MCLB Albany’s AtHoc notification email system, on individual work phones, as well as mobile phones as a secondary means of disseminating emergency information.