Operation MOM

Holyoke Community College, November 7, 2012

John J. Burke of Boston University’s Healthcare Emergency Management program led a hybrid emergency exercise today at Holyoke Community College; a college Mr. Burke’s grandfather was the first president and founder of. In a collaborative effort joined by Mayor Alex Morse and the Local Emergency Planning Committee, Holyoke Medical Hospital representatives, a team of Holyoke emergency responders, and BU HEM program graduate students, the exercise focused on “Managing Our Message” (M.O.M) during an emergency crisis by utilizing social media tools through Twitter, Facebook, and Gmail.

In the exercise, BU HEM students mobilized and managed a Joint Information Center (J.I.C) where they disseminated pertinent information from Mayor Morse, local emergency responders, and Holyoke Medical Hospital representatives about the crisis to concerned citizens. The J.I.C. also received tweets, FB messages, and emails from the public, and responded with the appropriate information as it was released to them. As close to real world simulation as possible- provided with limited information, mock press releases held by Mayor Morse, Holyoke Medical Hospital officials, and local emergency responders, and updates from local citizens on the ground using social media to report the incident, the JIC worked on managing the most effective message possible during the emergency crisis.

Catch coverage of the exercise on Channel 3 News, Springfield

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Practice Makes Perfect – BU HEM Students Applying Skills Learned in the Field

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On November 7th, 2012, Boston University Healthcare Emergency Management graduate students made news with Mayor Alex Morse of Holyoke, MA, when they came together with the Local Emergency Planning Committee for a collaborative effort at Holyoke Community College, in BU HEM’s latest hybrid emergency exercise – Operation M.O.M. Led by BU HEM faculty member John J. Burke, BU HEM graduate students, the Mayor, local emergency responders, Holyoke Medical Hospital officials and Holyoke Community College representatives worked on “Managing Our Message” by utilizing the social media sites Twitter and Facebook as tools to deliver effective messaging to the public during an emergency crisis, in this mock exercise.
This success of this exercise was highlighted on the 6 o’clock news, CBS 3 Springfield:
http://www.cbs3springfield.com/story/20034712/crisis-management-training-for-local-emergency-responders-following-sandy
John J. Burke (http://www.bumc.bu.edu/bmcm/prospective\-students/about\-the\-program/mph\-vs\-hem/), of Boston University’s Healthcare Emergency Management program, will run a drill with graduate students and other staff members, said a press release from David A. LaFond, chairman of the Local Emergency Planning Committee.
Article: http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2012/11/holyoke_to_hold_emergency_plan.html