Emergency AT on display at Security Conference
Volume 73 – May 15, 2003
By Julie West
Los Angeles – Wednesday, May 14, 2003 Los Angeles Police Chief William J. Bratton, Deputy Chief of Police James McMurray and Los Angeles Police Department Captain Jerry C. Szymanski hosted the Fourth Annual Law Enforcement and Private Security Conference (LEAPS) at the Wilshire Grand Hotel in Downtown, Los Angeles.
The joint keynote speakers were Sergeant Ralph Morten and California Attorney General Bill Lockyer who addressed such issues as collective safety ventures between law enforcement and private security. This colloquium was designed as an educational training event and networking forum, attempting to increase awareness and utilization of all respective resources for the common good.
This year’s conference was kicked off by Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn who emphasized the importance of collaborative ventures between the public and private sector focusing on contemporaneous issues in the world. The conference’s universal perspective focused on terrorism’s particular significance to the security and personal safety industry. The objective was to enhance safety for all citizens in Los Angeles, at any age, ability level or with any challenge.
Thus, this year’s conference focused on Homeland Security as it relates to Emergency Management with an emphasis on meeting the specific and special needs of a diverse demographic that includes a rapidly aging
population. To contribute toward making Los Angeles safer for everyone including people with disabilities, assistive technology exhibits were on display.
In response to the LAPD’s request for suggestions for both high- and low-tech assistive devices, the Westside Center for Independent Living (WCIL), the American Red Cross, the Jewish Vocational Services and Accessible Design and Consulting were invited to present innovative assistive technology that would be useful to assist emergency personnel.
These vital AT recommendations are considered to be essential and critical additions in the preemptory strategic efforts to protect citizens from impending threats. The emphasis for AT display selection was based on the various devices that provide beneficial universal and/or specific design attributes for the disabled and senior population.
“The LEAPS Conference provides a great opportunity for law enforcement, civic, and security leaders to learn about new technologies that help protect public safety,” said Los Angeles Mayor Jim Hahn. “The City of Los Angeles has installed automated external defibrillators at a number of locations,
including the airport and convention center. These kinds of innovative devices can help save lives.”
Significantly, Accessible Design and Consulting’s display of the Bruno Thunder edition mini electrical vehicles was a particularly busy demonstration. These small, agile, quick, and economical devices can be utilized to improve rapid response for emergency personnel both inside and outdoors. They can be
of assistance in most small and large venues when needed.
Additionally, because they can be used on a wide range of terrains they can be used for rescue, relief, recovery, and surveillance. The thunder can be custom ordered in a tandem version and with a flatbed. It is easy for transferring purposes for people with mobility impairments.
For more information go to:
www.accessibleconstruction.com or call 1-866-908-9800.
According to Adam Fine of Accessible Design and Consulting, “Even some of the simplest and lowest tech ideas can save lives. For example, concepts such as having glow in the dark items can ensure an individuals well being in the case of an emergency. It only costs pennies on the dollar to obtain these items. However, those products worth can be immeasurable in a disaster. They are essential investments in ensuring a safe future. No one can afford to pass up the opportunity to make these simply, yet, necessary previsions.”
Some such devices are often helpful in an emergency when a blackout can occur and a reliable alternative source of light is needed to assist emergency response personnel to guide them during a rescue. Four innovative and illuminating devices that can be of assistance in such circumstances are
the SafeCharge Rechargeable Candle, Unbreakable No-Battery Flashlight, the LED Lite Cube or light emitting diode, and the Cool Glow Light Coaster.
An AT item to be considered for individuals with communication impairments is the Talking Pictures kit. These kits are designed for people with communication
difficulties such as aphasia; and other neurological disorders; mental retardation and other brain dysfunctions; voice, hearing, and visual difficulties; and postoperative problems. Actual card size 2 1/2″ x 3 1/4″.
These kits include:
- 119 functional picture cards illustrating survival living needs
- 8 classifications – room, bathroom, health aids, food, clothing, people, and miscellaneous
- 8 colored dividers to separate each classification
- 5 languages on reverse side of card (English, Spanish, German, French, and Italian)
- 10 heavy duty vinyl envelopes to hold up to 20 pictures (vinyl envelopes can be cleaned with a damp cloth)
- 1 metal ring to hold pictures together
- 1 vinyl cord to tie the ring and pictures to the bed, wheelchair, belt, wrist, etc. (vinyl cord can be cleaned with a damp cloth)
- 1 convenient storage file box to keep all of the above in a compact unit ready to use
These cards are among ways people who cannot communicate verbally to emergency personnel can make sure they are treated effectively during a potential emergency. Other important information to have in written form is identification, medical needs, disabilities, emergency contacts, insurance
information, etc. It’s all a part of a comprehensive emergency preparedness kit, which Robert Chatman, Director of Emergency Services for The American Red Cross of Santa Monica, is necessary.
“Everyone should build a first aid kit which includes a battery operated radio. Keep a small version of this package in all your essential living spaces and in your vehicle and be sure to include not only your personal identification, but, also, at least two responsible emergency contact persons’ phone numbers. One should be in state the other out of state. This kit and emergency idea could be your passports to safety.”
For more information, contact the American Red Cross at www.RedCrossOfSantaMonica.org.