Over 40 federal, state and local emergency management and law enforcement officials responsible for the safety and security of the Port Fourchon area held a joint training exercise in Port Fourchon's Johnny Melancon, Sr. Fourchon EOC (Emergency Operations Center) recently to practice coordinated emergency management in the event of a major hurricane impacting the region.
"We are pleased to bring together all of our response partners for this exercise," said Chett Chiasson, Executive Director of the Greater Lafourche Port Commission (GLPC). "Coordinated multi-agency training exercises help us all to be better prepared for future storms, and we know that being better prepared helps us to keep our first responders safer in a real-life emergency scenario as well as get our port and our tenants back up and running even faster once a threat has passed."
Representatives from not only Port Fourchon but also Lafourche Parish Government, Lafourche Parish Sheriff's Office, Morgan City Harbor and Terminal District, the Louisiana Governor's Office of Homeland Security (GOHSEP), US Coast Guard, NOAA, LOOP, and other key response agencies all participated in this exercise.
The event was paid for through a US Department of Homeland Security Port Security Grant and sponsored by American Integrated Contractors, EATEL Business, and Priority 5, Inc.
What makes this exercise unique is the common operating platform used. The Port Commission's command and control system, called GLPC-C4, allows multiple users to see and interact with all available streams of data to make decisions collaboratively and in real time.
Through the GLPC-C4 system, all of this collaboration happens electronically, and even if decision-makers aren't in the room, they can have secure access to see and participate in real time, no matter where they are.
"This system allows all agencies to be on the same page in times of emergency, which in turn will allow us to make more informed decisions. It should prove to be a great asset to assist our emergency operations as well as the citizens of Lafourche Parish," said Lafourche Parish President Jimmy Cantrelle.
"Training exercises like this one are essential opportunities for all of our regional response agency partners to get together and make sure that we are able and ready to use the technology and tools at our disposal to make the best decisions necessary when we have an emergency in our area," Sheriff Craig Webre added.
The GLPC-C4 regional training exercise is just the latest example of Port Fourchon's focus on resiliency and protection from natural and man-made threats, according to port director Chiasson.
"We take our responsibility to keep over 90% of the US Gulf of Mexico energy production online extremely seriously, and exercises like these are one of the many ways that we are making Port Fourchon a model of disaster resiliency and preparedness all along the Gulf Coast," Chiasson said.
Posted on Tue, August 2, 2016
by The Lafourche Gazette