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11 States Launch Critical Incident Mapping Laws For Schools

To enable effective emergency response in schools, 11 states have passed critical incident mapping initiatives. More states are set to follow.

Rare in today’s political climate, 11 states have unanimously passed bipartisan critical incident mapping laws or initiatives for schools. Wisconsin, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, Texas, Kentucky, Nebraska, Maryland, and Virginia are leading the way, with other state bills in progress. The unanimous support underscores the urgency of enhancing emergency response efforts with critical incident mapping, according to Critical Response Group.

What Is Critical Incident Mapping?

Founded by U.S. military special operations veterans, New Jersey-based Critical Response Group (CRG), adapted and domesticated the military’s gridded reference graphics (GRG) technique to create accurate and detailed maps tailored for emergency responders.

Critical incident mapping involves combining high-resolution aerial imagery with on-site verified floor plans, site-specific labels, and an alphanumeric grid overlay. The final product provides an accurate and up-to-date common operating picture that first responders from different agencies can use to communicate and coordinate with each other during an emergency response. CRG’s mapping data is available within the existing software platforms used across public safety including 911 centers, CAD platforms, and mobile applications.

Critical Incident Mapping
(Source: Critical Response Group)

 

“We took a mapping technique that was perfected through thousands of repetitions and lessons learned overseas, and worked with law enforcement experts and practitioners to develop a domestic solution that would address the well-documented challenges unique to public safety responses,” explained CRG co-founder and CEO Mike Rodgers.

“As stakeholders and leadership organizations have become increasingly aware of the effectiveness of our mapping technique, it has become recognized as a protective measures best practice,” Rodgers continued. “This ever-growing groundswell of support has put our solution on the radar of legislators who are eager to solve a problem that has plagued emergency response efforts across the county.”

Wisconsin Leads The Way

Leading the way is Wisconsin, the first state with successful bipartisan efforts that serve as a model for further legislation.

“The Wisconsin Chiefs of Police Association brought CRG’s work to my attention, and I immediately realized the value for a true statewide standard for critical incident mapping,” said State Senator Van Wanggaard.

“This is common sense legislation: when first responders are racing against time to save lives, they cannot waste precious minutes trying to make sense out of an inaccurate map,” Wanggaard continued. “When the police and fire departments are working off of different maps due to incompatible software, it could put people at risk. CRG has worked from the ground up to create best practices for critical incident mapping, and the legislation that I and my colleague State Assemblyman (now Senator) Jesse James drafted for Wisconsin follows suit.”

With over 14,000 schools mapped by CRG and growing legislative support for critical mapping laws from legislators, efforts to enhance first responders’ capabilities during critical incidents are advancing nationwide. Click here to review funding opportunities available across the U.S.

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