MEMA Hosts Unified Command Center (UCC) for Both Marathons

Hello to all….

The following announcement came from Massachusetts State RACES Radio officer, Tom Kinhan-N1CPE from MEMA Public Information Officer, Peter Judge:


400 Worcester Road Framingham, MA 01702-5399
Tel: 508-820-2000 Fax: 508-820-2030

April 18, 2008 (508) 820-2002

SEOC To Be Activated For Olympic Trials & Boston Marathon

FRAMINGHAM, MA – The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) Headquarters in Framingham will be the site of the Unified Command Center (UCC) for Sunday’s U.S. Women’s Olympic Marathon Trials and Monday’s 112th running of the Boston Marathon. The UCC, located at the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC), will be activated and fully operational on Sunday, April 20th at 7:00AM for the Olympic Trials and again on Monday at 7:00AM, remaining operational until at least 7:00PM on Monday, April 21st. This is the seventh straight year that these extensive steps have been taken to ensure the safety and security of participants and spectators along the 26.2-mile course.

The purpose of the UCC is to bring together key organizations for decision-making, communication and support. Medical issues are a key focus again this year, as demonstrated by the detailed planning of this year’s Boston Marathon Medical Subcommittee with extensive outreach to the Commonwealth’s medical community, area hospitals and private ambulance services. The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, the Boston Athletic Association Medical Team and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health helped raise medical preparedness and its coordination to an unprecedented level by again co-sponsoring the annual Boston Marathon Medical Seminar, which was held at Newton-Wellesley Hospital. Over 200 volunteer medical personnel attended this year’s event.

Over 80 individuals from the local communities involved with the Boston Marathon, as well as State and Federal Public Safety agencies, organizations and departments are expected to be represented at the SEOC on Patriots’ Day. The UCC monitors the ‘Big Picture’ and rapidly and efficiently responds to situations as they arise. The UCC, through MEMA’s WebEOC technology has the capability of displaying real time messages, weather data, maps, and logs, exchanging information to users both inside and outside the UCC. The UCC had dedicated hard-line telephones and access to 800 MHz, Public Safety radios, backup amateur radios (RACES) and numerous types of wireless communication to support the event and ensure immediate two-way communication. The Incident Command System (ICS) will again be utilized to organize and coordinate activities in the UCC and the field.

The Department of Public Health will again coordinate the use of an innovative ‘runner/patient tracking system’, utilizing barcodes on the runner’s bibs and scores of hand-held devises along the course to track everything from the location of any runner or spectator receiving medical assistance or transport to the number and severity of medical issues that are occurring along the course. The Boston Marathon offers a first ‘real-life’ event utilizing this technology that presents numerous potential benefits during a Mass Casualty Emergency.

Key liaisons in the UCC will represent Police, Fire, Emergency Medical Service and Emergency Management departments from the municipalities which host the event – Hopkinton, Ashland, Framingham, Natick, Wellesley, Newton, Brookline, and Boston. The various other agencies and organizations in the UCC, under the leadership of MEMA Director Don Boyce, include the Executive Office of Public Safety, Boston Athletic Association, MA State Police, MA National Guard, MA Department of Public Health, MA Department of Fire Services, MA Bay Transit Authority, MA Turnpike Authority, MA Highway Department, Federal Aviation Administration, Civil Air Patrol, Federal Bureau of Investigation, American Red Cross, RACES/ARES (amateur radio volunteers), local hospitals and private ambulance services.

WHAT: 2008 U.S. Women’s Olympic Marathon Trials UCC
WHEN: Sunday, April 20, 2008, 7:00AM to at least Mid-day

WHAT: 2008 Boston Marathon UCC
WHEN: Monday, April 21, 2008, 7:00AM to at least 7:00PM
WHERE: The SEOC located at MEMA Headquarters, 400 Worcester Road (Rte. 9) Framingham, MA

WHY: To ensure the safety & security of Marathon participants & spectators

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is the state agency responsible for coordinating federal, state, local, voluntary and private resources during emergencies and disasters in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. MEMA provides leadership to: develop plans for effective response to all hazards, disasters or threats; train emergency personnel to protect the public; provide information to the citizenry; and assist individuals, families, businesses and communities to mitigate against, prepare for, and respond to and recover from emergencies, both natural and man made. For additional information about MEMA and All Hazard Preparedness, go to

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