Dec 2, First Friday: Emergency Location Device for Special Populations

John J. Burke, MS HEM
Adjunct Instructor
Boston University School of Medicine
Health Care Emergency Management Program

In John’s own words “There are too many children with autism and patients with Alzheimer’s who are unnecessarily dying or go missing, costing the First Responder community hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in response costs.  If a device was made readily available that would allow for the instantaneous locating of one of these individuals, then it is incumbent upon us to work through a solution.”

In 2010, such a device was field tested by Outer-Link Corporation partnering with the Town of Sandwich and the Boston University School of Medicine’s Health Care Emergency Management Program.  The students of the Cape Cod Collaborative, the majority of which suffer from severe medical disabilities, were provided a pager-like device that would allow for the command team to track their movements with a 30 second ping update.  In his presentation, John elaborates on the results and the next steps for the project.

About the presenter: Inspector Burke, an adjunct instructor, comes to Boston University School of Medicine’s Healthcare Emergency Management (HEM) Program from the Sandwich (MA) Fire Department where he has served for 17 years. He has been in the Communications and Suppression Divisions and was promoted to Fire Prevention Officer/Fire Inspector in 2005. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Fire Science from Columbia Southern University and a Master’s Degree in Healthcare Emergency Management from Boston University. Inspector Burke holds numerous National Firefighting Pro Board certifications and is a State of Massachusetts Certified Emergency Medical Technician. He is a regular speaker at the National Emergency Management Summit and the United States Public Health Service Training Symposium on Emergency Management issues. He holds DHS/FEMA qualifications as a Type III Operations Section Chief and trained by the United States Forest Service as a Facilities Unit Leader.

Inspector Burke has hosted several national webinars on LEAPS TV on public health disaster management where is he also a technical adviser. He has written articles for Domestic Preparedness an IMR Group publication and co-authored a White Paper to the United States Senate Committee on Indian Affairs regarding Native American Public Health Preparedness.

In 2008, Inspector Burke consulted with the California Department of Public Health’s Immunization Branch on Drive-Thru Mass Vaccination Systems. He has also consulted for the United States Indian Health Service, United States Office of Minority Health, United States Coast Guard and the Massachusetts National Guard on Incident Command System principles and disaster management practices. He currently resides in Sandwich, Massachusetts with his wife Jaime and their daughter Emma.

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