Indy uses emergency preparedness technology to respond to disasters

Technology used when Indy hosted Super Bowl

INDIANAPOLIS - Officials with the Indianapolis Division of Homeland Security have applied the high-tech security platform that protected the city’s Super Bowl experience to now protect everyday matters.

At the time, Super Bowl XLVI, hosted by Indianapolis, had the most sophisticated security technology available.

Local Homeland Security officials had the capability to monitor the venues in real time.

The security platform was so sensitive that it picked up on four people who simultaneously got sick in the Super Bowl village. A response team of bomb and chemical experts deployed to the scene determined that it was mere coincidence rather than something more sinister.

"They had the ability to ascertain the situation, send back pictures in real time, so we knew right away where they were at, what they were looking at and how to resolve it," Chief of Homeland Security Gary Coons said.

Over the past two years, city safety officials have expanded the same security platform to include hundreds of other vital city assets like hospitals, banks, communications facilities and key manufacturing sites.

The technology identifies points of contact, floor plans, evacuation and emergency plans and even radio frequencies.

"Everything that is deemed vital in infrastructure is on the map and we can attach plans and information to each of those local sites." Division of Homeland Security Maj. Ted Fries said.

Officials have incorporated more than 300 Indianapolis school facilities into the security platform. The recent school shooting at Purdue University and shootings on campuses across the country underscore the need for a plan and response.

"Things that we, as first responders, would need if we were responding to incidents of school violence. Or we may need the school for a shelter in reaction to a different incident," Fries said.

Safety officials not only have a plan, but they also have the technology to put it in the hands of first responders, even before they arrive on scene.

Super Bowl planners in New York and New Jersey asked for the exact same plan that Indianapolis officials put together to protect the Super Bowl in Indy.

Follow Jack Rinehart on Twitter: @jackrinehart6

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