October – December 2018, Vol. 4

Manchester-SNHU Active Threat Full Scale Exercise

The City of Manchester in conjunction with The Olson Group, Ltd. and with grant funding through the New Hampshire Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Management, conducted a full scale active threat exercise at the Southern New Hampshire University Arena in downtown Manchester on Wednesday, November 28th.  The exercise scenario was designed around a multiple threat, mass casualty event.  New Hampshire Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Management provided logistics and resource support, as well as exercise staff.

Participating agencies included:

Amateur Radio Emergency Service
American Medical Response
Bedford Fire Department
Careplus Ambulance Services
Catholic Medical Center
City of Manchester Emergency Management
City of Manchester Fire Department
City of Manchester Health Department
City of Manchester Information Systems
City of Manchester Mayor’s Office
City of Manchester Police Department
Derry Fire Department
Elliot Health System
Goffstown Fire Department
Londonderry Fire Department
Manchester Transit Authority
New Hampshire Division of Fire Standards and Training & Emergency Medical Services
New Hampshire Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Management
New Hampshire Division of State Police Explosives Disposal Unit
New Hampshire Division of State Police SWAT
New Hampshire Division of State Police Troop B
SMG Management
Southern New Hampshire University Arena

Exercise Staff & Volunteers Provided by:

Bedford Fire Department
Dover Fire Department
Dover Police Department
Easterseals New Hampshire
Federal Bureau of Investigation – Boston Office
Goffstown Police Department
Greater Nashua Public Health Network
Keene Police Department
Londonderry Police Department
Manchester School of Technology
Nashua Police Department
New England EMS Institute
New Hampshire Department of Health & Human Services
New Hampshire Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Management
New Hampshire Division of State Police
New Hampshire Information & Analysis Center
New Hampshire Job Corps Center
The Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester
The Olson Group, Ltd.
UMass Lowell Police Department
University of New Hampshire Office of Emergency Management
Windham Police Department


Granite Pine Tabletop Exercise

The 2018 Granite Pine Exercise Series (Granite Pine) is sponsored by the Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and New Hampshire Homeland Security and Emergency Management (NH HSEM). The purpose of Granite Pine is to enhance cross-jurisdictional coordination efforts when faced with an incident requiring a response from multiple federal, state, county, and local agencies.

On December 6, 2018, MEMA, NH HSEM, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) hosted the Granite Pine tabletop exercise (TTX). The scenario involved a low-magnitude earthquake and subsequent ship strike affecting the Piscataqua River Bridge that resulted in a hazmat incident. The structure and format for the TTX examined response activities anticipated to occur during the following time increments: 0-3 hours post-earthquake, 3-12 hours post-earthquake, and 12-24 hours post-earthquake. The 85 participants were seated by their respective agency, which fell into one of three categories: state, local, or military. These groupings enabled participants to engage in meaningful discussion with responders that might approach the incident in a similar way or face a similar set of challenges. Following the exercise, participants engaged in a hotwash designed to summarize key discussion points, takeaways, and decision points from the day.

A functional exercise is schedule for March 21, 2019.

Choose Love Movement: Creating Safer Schools and Healthier Communities

Scarlett Lewis presented on the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement at the NH Fire Academy on Friday, November 30th. Jesse was killed in his first grade classroom during the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012. The presentation, given to over 100 first responders and educators,  discussed the impacts of the social emotional learning curriculum, and how it can be used to help make N.H. schools some of the safest in the nation.  Implementing a social emotional learning program for NH Schools was one of the key recommendations from the Governor’s School Safety Task Force Report.


Threat & Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (THIRA) & Stakeholder Preparedness Review (SPR)

The Threat & Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (THIRA) and Stakeholder Preparedness Review (SPR) is a FEMA-required annual project that allows the State and FEMA to see where additional funding is needed in order to address gaps in overall emergency preparedness.   The 3-step THIRA process (1) identifies a community or state’s highest priority threats or hazards, (2) how those threats or hazards impact our community/state, and (3) what is our community/state’s goal in dealing with the 32 core capabilities within the National Response Framework(NRF) Mission Areas  (prevention, protection, mitigation, response, and recovery) in order for the least impact possible.  The completed THIRA provides a foundation for the 3-step SPR which (1) allows our community/state to identify where our current capability gaps lie in addressing the 32 core capabilities, (2) what are our plans in closing those gaps over the next year, and (3) how/what funding plays a part in accomplishing each of the core capabilities.  In November 2018, many of our municipal, non-profit, and state-level stakeholders provided experienced expert insight on Steps 2 and 3 of the THIRA process.  These stakeholders followed up in December by providing valuable input to HSEM which allowed us to complete the 3 step SPR in time to submit the final product by our December 31st deadline.

In 2019, FEMA is requiring states to resubmit the THIRA/SPR and address all 32 core capabilities; this will be year 1 of a three-year cycle – year 2 (2020) and year 3 (2021) we will be required to complete and submit only the SPR for all 5 mission areas.  The 3-year cycle will begin again in 2022 when we will relook/update our THIRA and complete the SPR.  We are currently developing our threats and hazards identification and establishing the context and impacts of those threats.


Ready visits the Simonds Elementary School in Warner

On November 9, Ready the Prepared Puppy met with the second graders of Simonds Elementary School to teach them all about emergency preparedness.  If you would like Ready to visit your community or school, contact the HSEM Community Outreach Office at hsempio@dos.nh.gov.