Posted by: Andrew Velasquez III, Administrator, FEMA Region V
As you may already know, the NATO summit concluded in Chicago, Ill., last Monday, May 22. With the delegations departing to their home countries after two days of important discussion, the interagency support for the summit also comes to a close.
Since learning about the event in November 2011, FEMA through our regional office in Chicago has worked hard with our federal partners to ensure that the state of Illinois and the city of Chicago were well supported before, during and after this high-level event.
FEMA works with the Secret Service, FBI and our other federal partners whenever an event is designated as a National Special Security Event, such as this NATO Summit. FEMA is the lead federal agency for consequence management in the event of a large-scale response to a natural or man-made disaster. This involves coordinating the federal response to and recovery from a major incident.
As co-chair of the Training and Exercise sub-committee, we've helped to facilitate the delivery of specialized training for emergency responders and decision makers and conducted exercises focusing on crisis and consequence management.
In anticipation of any potential federal support, FEMA activated and co-located staff with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency at a Forward Operating Base, in DuPage County, Illinois. FEMA Region V was supported by all Emergency Support Functions, a Defense Coordinating Element, FEMA’s Denver Mobile Emergency Response System, and two Incident Management Assistance Teams.
The College of DuPage, in Chicago’s western suburbs served as an excellent host for our joint operations with the state of Illinois. Their new Homeland Security Education Center, is the regular home to the Suburban Law Enforcement Academy, Criminal Justice and Fire Science/Emergency Medical Services training programs. The facility is complete with an Immersive Training Lab, which provides realistic environmental space for training on many emergency management missions. During the NATO summit, FEMA utilized the space as it was intended – a fully functional Emergency Operations Center.
Here’s a quick video highlighting our unique work at College of DuPage: