Disaster Solutions provides an experienced team of FEMA-reimbursable First Response personnel to coordinate spontaneous volunteers and career responders. Nationally credentialed and typed, our team employs disconnected mobile technology to revolutionize emergency response and attain complete situational awareness.
Our Volunteer Management Team, The Pathfinders Task Force ® (PTF), rapid trains volunteers to reach tens of thousands of disaster survivors at their front doors within days, while seeking out and resolving the unmet special needs of vulnerable populations.
The PTF model of rapid training and technology has been adopted for the largest man-made and natural disasters in recent history. From responses ranging from earthquakes to oil spills the ability to embed a self-supporting, credentialed team to daily rapid train local responders and analyze, customize, and provide Executive summaries of the mobile data collected from the field stood out as a best practice. PTF provides Google Earth and ESRI views with time/date stamped, geocoded, and Excel sortable data to provide local Command with increased situational awareness and the ability to make real-time decisions based on real-time data. Concise, presorted and sanitized information updates the Situation Unit throughout the operational period with no extra burden on local Command.
The Pathfinders Task Force is committed to a 6 hour deployment readiness model and has a cache of equipment including 400+ Pathfinder Rapid Assessment Systems (PRAS).
When properly tasked, the Team can do the following with spontaneous volunteers:
- Perform criminal background checks
- Rapid train
- Issue temporary I.D. badge
- Track volunteer hours (for a FEMA match of $18.70 per hour back to local Emergency Management)
- Organize and assign into NIMS compliant task forces.
- Merge with local, state, federal, military, and NGO assets to create a force multiplying effect
- Provide accident insurance
- Supply an initial briefing to the local emergency management (ICS 201)
- Turn in a full Incident Action Plan (IAP) on a daily basis (ICS 202, 203, 204, 205, 215A)
- Produce an After Action Report (AAR) that summarizes the totality of operations for a given deployment.
The Pathfinders Task Force ® (PTF) is a concept FEMA issued a NIMS Alert on (2007) as it considers suggestions to replicate this typed resource across the nation.
States can request the Pathfinders Task Force through EMAC (Emergency Management Assistance Compact)
– More information can be obtained by calling the number below.
Training is available to replicate the Pathfinders Task Force in your own community or state, and training in the use of the PTF Software. The Pathfinders Training Courses include a review of PTF Operations with a full table-top exercise explaining the role of the replicable Volunteer Management Team. The Pathfinders Program Management Course is designed as a “Train-the-Trainer” program to allow graduates to design and implement an Incident Action Plan (IAP) in the field with volunteer participants during the Pathfinders Basic Course & Full-Scale Exercise. The Full-Scale Exercise uses the IAP generated in the Program Management course and implements it under the direct supervision of graduates from the Program Management Course. The Pathfinders Training Courses is pending approval by the Department of Homeland Security as a pre-approved course, so as to open up grant funding to local communities to achieve the hands on, active training which more than 1,250 volunteers have enjoyed. The courses have been taught on several occasions throughout the United States to great acclaim.
The course will meet the requirements for:
- State Homeland Security Grant Program (SHSGap)
- Emergency Management Preparedness Assistance Grant Program (EMPA)
- Homeland Security Exercise Evaluation Program (HSEEP)
Mission Ready Packages
Three stand-by Mission Ready Packages are available for deployment -
1. Type V Liaison Team
2. Type IV Advanced “A” Team
3. Type III Pathfinder Team
All three are staffed by Disaster Solutions LLC.
Pathfinders Task Force has developed a unique software solution which can be loaded onto GPS enabled mobile devices (including Android, iOS, Blackberry, and older, Java Flip-phones) to provide comprehensive, tactical situational awareness during emergencies. The software provides responders with the ability to electronically submit field data, and also gives administrators the ability to quickly and easily create and assign groups of responders for specific tasks. The PTF Software records all submissions and GPS data to a private database meant specifically for commanders and stakeholders at an incident. All recorded data is easily exportable to many reporting/mapping softwares, including ArcGIS, Tableau, Jasper Reports, and Microsoft Excel. The software, designed to be utilized in a completely disconnected environment, can be paired with a laptop server, enabling much faster response time in the event of an emergency.
“This solution will exponentially improve efficiency, revolutionize State – FEMA documentation, save money, deliver better services to the survivors, and probably save lives…. With a host of responders having limited computer and technological backgrounds, the most important feature of this solution is its simplicity. It works when ‘Failure is not an Option.’” – Tropical Storm Fay JFO AAR Report
Scott Lewis, CEM, FPEM, has represented Disaster Solutions as a guest speaker at a wide variety of engagements. In each of his presentations, his lively and interactive sessions engage participants with real-life hurricane experiences. He often uses the PTF phones that he deployed into Ike as part of the talk to give a hands-on feel for how PTF Ike volunteers achieved so much in such a devastated setting. Scott has presented short introductions to the concepts, rapid hands on training pieces, keynote presentations, one to two-hour sessions and two-day trainings. He has conducted talks for:
FEMA Headquarters (4 times)
U.S. Northern Command
American Red Cross Headquarters (3 times)
Florida Division of Emergency Management (3 times)
California Regional Special Needs Conference
Florida Governor’s Hurricane Conference (2 times)
Mid-Atlantic National Guard Bureau Hurricane Conference
World Disaster Conference
Annual Citizen Corps Conference
Florida League of Cities Hurricane Preparedness Symposium
Missouri Independent Living Summit
Arizona Emergency Management Conference
CERT Hurricane Conference
Forum Club of the Palm Beaches
|Disaster Solutions LLC||(202) 681-5205|
|Contact: Scott Lewis||
(561) 389-9667 *
* 24/7 emergency number for deployment requests