Life Link III, a nonprofit organization that has been in operation for 30 years, operates five helicopter bases located throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Rotor wing and fixed wing services are available 24/7, providing on-scene emergency response and inter-facility transport. Historically, Life Link III depended on a paper-based incident response system to maintain their Post-Accident/Incident Plans, which outlines its response to a crisis situation, such as an overdue aircraft or one that is known or likely to have crashed. Given Life Link III’s multi-state operations, the paper-based incident response system was difficult to implement, track and test.
The paper-based incident response system:
• Created unnecessary distractions that delayed response to emergencies
• Complicated the ability to deploy a coordinated response effort
• Required leadership team members to carry a heavy load of essential paperwork with them at all times in case an incident occurred
• Required frequent revisions to the paper copies of the extensive emergency plan to ensure all staff has access to it in an emergency
• Limited updates and changes during an incident, resulting in many phone calls being fielded by their Communication Center
• Lacked in providing incident response visibility and accurate information to all levels of the organization
Life Link III replaced the paper-based incident response system with eICS, which offered solutions that streamlined planning, communication, response, visibility and recovery. The solution modernized preparedness efforts through a centralized operational tool. Features within the tool that assist with the efficiency and accuracy of daily operations include:
• Customizable IC Plans & Charts
• Incident Response Guide Builder
• Multimodal Alerting
• Incident Dashboard
• Electronic Event Log
• Document Management
• Contact Management
• After action tracking log
Additionally, Incident Response Guides (IRG) were built into the solution that assisted Communication Specialists in notifying leadership team members and assisting in conducting a thorough, organized response to the incident at-hand.
eICS effectively maintains Life Link III’s PAIPs. After replacing the paper-based system, the implementation of eICS coordinated a systematic response that improved speed, organization and accuracy regarding operations for Post-Accident/Incident Plans and related processes. Preparedness efforts were streamlined in a centralized operation tool.