Tag Archives: industry

Free Online Shoptalk: Municipalities, Finance, & Recovery: Current Challenges and Next Steps

Wednesday May 13, 2020- 2:00 PM EST

Free Online Shoptalk: Municipalities, Finance, & Recovery: Current Challenges and Next Steps

Pre-Registration is required to attend.

Free to all Industry Professionals

Access the Recording here

 

Join IPMI for our next online Shoptalk diving into cars, cash, and financial impacts to operations. Open to all, moderator Tiffany Smith will lead the group in discussions centering on three key questions. First, discuss of the impact to the short-term financial picture, including revenue, plans to streamline operations to cover losses, and anticipated changes to programs and policies for recovery. Second, address changes to consumer and patron behavior, your expectations of demand in the immediate and longer term, and potential medium-term changes in curbside (and off-street parking) management. Finally, explore adaptions to policies, programs, staffing, customers, and tech to prepare for future operations.

We understand this is an extremely busy time and will record the online shoptalk and distribute to all members and colleagues.  If you have a question or would like to share something that has worked for your organization in advance, please email Fernandez@parking-mobility.org.

 MODERATOR:

 

Tiffany Smith bio pixTiffany Smith, Director of Parking Authority of River City, Louisville Metro Government

I graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1993 and obtained my MBA in 2001. I have been with Metro, Parking Authority for 23 years. I started in Accounting and moved to Administration and now I am the Director. Team building, customer service and improving our operations through technology, innovation and creative thinking are my initiatives in operating the agency. I’m still very much invigorated and excited about how we can make Louisville a better city to live, work and park. My staff is my greatest professional asset.

I am a lifelong learner and am always excited to know more. I serve on the YMCA downtown board, participate in Toastmasters weekly, serve on the International Parking Institutes membership committee and serve on the Bates Community Development Corporation board. I enjoy spending time with family, exercising and traveling. I teach Sunday school youth and serve as a mentor at Newburg middle school through Metro Mentors.

I am hopeful to return to my studies at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and finish my Masters in Family and Biblical counseling. This is a dream deferred. I have 3 kids that make me smile and give me purpose; they are my greatest life accomplishment.

Free Online Shoptalk: Leading Remote Teams and Best Practices

Wednesday April 22, 2020 – 2:00 PM EST

Free Online Shoptalk: Leading Remote Team & Best Practices

Pre-Registration is required to attend

Download the recording here.

IPMI invites all industry professionals in parking, transportation, and mobility to discuss how the COVID-19 crisis has impacted your various mobility programs and options, including managing employees from home and best practices for working from home. We understand this is an extremely busy time and will record the online shoptalk and distribute to all members and colleagues.

Working from home comes with its perks, but also its challenges and frustrations. Join us to collaborate about how we’re managing people, organizations, and our own work and time while working from home during COVID-19. Bring your questions and the solutions that have worked for you for a discussion about the best ways to keep our companies, staffs, and selves at our best while the office is where we live.

If you have a question or would like to share something that has worked for your organization in advance, please email Fernandez@parking-mobility.org.

Free for all Industry Professsionals

Moderator:

Vanessa Solesbee headshotVanessa Solesbee, CAPP, is Parking & Transit Manager for the Town of Estes Park, Colorado. In her role, Vanessa manages on- and off-street parking for a small mountain community that welcomes 4.5 million visitors each summer. Vanessa also manages Estes Transit, a free seasonal shuttle system with five routes serving 55 stops throughout the Estes Valley. Vanessa is currently leading one of the Town’s four COVID-19 operational response teams focused on accelerated economic and business recovery.  Vanessa is also President of The Solesbee Group, LLC (TSG), a management consultancy founded in 2013. TSG specializes in designing public involvement processes that support parking, transportation and mobility planning efforts for cities and universities. Vanessa was also part of Kimley-Horn’s parking planning practice from 2015-2017.

IPMI News: IPMI Partners with City Tech to Launch the Millennium Gateway Innovation Lab

City Tech collaborative logoIPMI Partners with City Tech to Launch the Millennium Gateway Innovation Lab, a Cross-Sector Collaboration to Help Shape the Future of the Parking Industry

May 6, 2020

In partnership with the International Parking & Mobility Institute, City Tech Collaborative is launching a new Millennium Gateway Innovation Lab, a cross-sector consortium that will transform urban parking facilities – including Millennium Garages, which spans 3.8 million square feet beneath downtown Chicago – into testbeds to envision and implement new technology-enabled solutions and business models to help shape the future of the parking industry.

Founding Members of the Lab include Millennium GaragesSP+, and Arrive. As the world’s largest association of professionals in parking, transportation, and mobility, IPMI is a Strategic Partner to the effort.

The Millennium Gateway seeks to more fully integrate parking into the broader mobility landscape – including public transit, ride- and vehicle-sharing, electrification, and automation – as well as to explore innovative facility management, freight and logistics hub opportunities, and other creative space uses. City Tech will showcase the partnership at the IPMI Parking & Mobility Virtual Conference & Expo on June 1-2, 2020.

City Tech is an urban solutions accelerator that tackles problems too big for any single sector or organization to solve alone. The Millennium Gateway Innovation Lab is part of City Tech’s Advanced Mobility Initiative, which includes 25+ corporate, municipal, and civic partners working to create a more seamless, accessible, and far-reaching urban transportation systems. Learn more at CityTech.org.

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About the Millennium Gateway Innovation Lab:

The Millennium Gateway Innovation Lab is a groundbreaking partnership to shape the future of the parking industry and urban mobility. As a consortium of asset owners, parking and mobility operators, technology providers, policymakers, and other thought leaders, Lab participants work to integrate parking more fully into urban transportation systems, develop tech-enabled solutions for smart infrastructure management, and cultivate value-added services and space uses.

The Lab is part of the Advanced Mobility Initiative at City Tech Collaborative, an urban solutions accelerator that tackles problems too big for any single sector or organization to solve alone.  Founding members and strategic partners of the Millennium Gateway Innovation Lab include Millennium Garages, SP+, Arrive, the National Parking Association, the International Parking & Mobility Institute, and the City of Chicago. Learn more at www.CityTech.org/Parking-Innovation.

COVID-19 Information Clearinghouse: Resources and Documents

Read all the COVID-19 Information Resource and Document postings here.

To search all resources by keyword, search the Resource Library.

Submit Postings Here

 

 

Free Online Shoptalk: Mobility Options and COVID-19

Tuesday April 14, 2020: 12:00 PM EST

Access the Recording here

Free Online Shoptalk: Mobility Options and COVID-19

IPMI invites all industry professionals in parking, transportation, and mobility to discuss how the COVID-19 crisis has impacted your various mobility programs and options, including fleet management, transit, and micro-mobility modes. We understand this is an extremely busy time and will record the online shoptalk and distribute to all members and colleagues.  If you have a question or would like to share something that has worked for your organization in advance, please email Fernandez@parking-mobility.org.

 

Moderator:

Robert Ferrin Bio ImgRobert Ferrin, Assistant Director for Parking Services, Columbus, Ohio, oversees the administration, enforcement, operations, and management of public parking for the City of Columbus.

In June 2019 he was elected to the International Parking and Mobility Institute (IPMI) Board of Directors. Robert moved to Columbus in late 2017 from Colorado, where he spent nearly seven years working in various parking leadership roles with the City and County of Denver as their Manager of On-Street Programs and the City of Aurora as their Parking & Mobility Manager. Robert is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where he earned a Bachelor and Master of Geography degrees.

The Parking & Mobility Industry Comes Together in a Time of Need

parking COVID-19 community collaborationBy Brett Wood, CAPP, PE

This blog is part of a special series on curb management and COVID-19. A joint effort of IPMI, Transportation for America, and ITE, this series strives to document the immediate curbside-related actions and responses to COVID-19, as well as create a knowledge base of strategies that communities can use to manage the curbside during future emergencies.

There is an enduring human spirit that persists in crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic has put that spirit to the test, forging stronger bonds within and between our communities, our industries, our nation, and our humanity. Lately, I have been struck by how closely connected we all are.

I don’t need to tell you how strange, trying, and scary these weeks have been. But what you might not know is while everyone was figuring out how to work from home, keep their business afloat, or protect their loved ones, professionals across the parking and mobility industry were hard at work trying to support those activities.

Our communities are normally test beds for ongoing transportation innovation, but this pandemic has accelerated the need for creative use of our resources and emphasizes the importance of collaboration between colleagues. Although every community has unique features, hopefully practices that work well in one community rapidly multiply across the country. The past few weeks have seen that concept accelerate to hyper speed.

As communities enacted new policies to protect citizens by minimizing the spread of the coronavirus, their parking and mobility programs adapted curb management and parking policies to address emerging priorities. Rapid installation of temporary loading zones for restaurant curbside pickup and paid parking and enforcement policy changes to help homebound residents were needed to support business and residential communities. Supportive parking policies for healthcare and other essential workers were critical to ensuring safe, efficient, and quick access to parking as hospitals expanded triage areas into their parking lots.

Behind these changes was an amazing network of professionals connecting in rapid fashion to share ideas, discuss challenges, and offer support. A few resources that truly helped to connect folks included:

  • City groups functioning through International Parking and Mobility Institute (IPMI), the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE), and Transportation for America’s 2020 Smart Cities Collaborative came together in a grassroots fashion to help discuss, test, implement, monitor, and triage curbside changes. Through a variety of channels – emails, Slack, and good old phone calls – policies implemented on one side of the country quickly made to the other side.
  • The IPMI Forum, an online IPMI member resource, provided a place for professionals to ask questions, compare ideas, and discuss how to adapt policy. As bigger cities created their policies, they trickled down through this network.
  • Transportation for America’s Smart Cities Collaborative Slack channel provided a simple, effective forum for member cities to discuss and share responses and solutions to COVID-19.
    • Smart Cities Collaborative member Chris Iverson from the City of Bellevue, Wash., shared that, “Once restaurants were mandated to shift to delivery and pick-up operations only, we reached out to the Collaborative to see what curbside best practices other cities were implementing. It helped immensely that everyone in the Slack channel was already focused on curbside management practices, and the transition to crisis mode was made easier with the help of the Collaborative.”
  • The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) launched a Transportation Resource Center public tool for cities to share information and develop effective responses to this evolving global crisis. It provides actionable examples of how cities around the world are addressing critical tasks, such as:
    • Helping healthcare and other essential workers get safely where they’re needed while protecting transit operators and frontline staff.
    • Creating pick-up/delivery zones to ensure that residents can access food and essential goods.
    • Managing public space to encourage physical distancing.
    • Deploying effective public communications and signage.
  • The American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO) is collecting a variety of transportation data to assist in understanding recent changes to travel of people and goods in response to COVID-19

Collectively, this network helped keep businesses running, supported stay-at-home orders, and facilitated the needs of healthcare systems. In a joint effort, IPMI, Transportation for America, ITE, and other partner organizations are documenting these actions and their impacts. They plan to provide summary blogs, articles, and peer reviewed white papers to help communities understand, plan, mitigate, and forge ahead through future emergencies.

If you have a good story, please share it with brett@woodsolutionsgroup.com.

Brett Wood, CAPP, PE, is president of Wood Solutions Group.

Making the Switch

Earth day sustainabilityBy Conor Burke

“This is not normal.” This quote has been used in many aspects of our lives the last few years, and COVID-19 has made sure this phrase will be with us in the foreseeable future.

As an industry, parking and mobility has been trending to be more green-friendly.

There are a multitude of ways these statements—being more sustainable and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic—are coming together. One manner should be fairly obvious: cleaning our facilities. The recent focus on washing our hands for 20 seconds and disinfecting high-traffic areas should have all professionals looking at their stocks of supplies and thinking about the surfaces customers touch all the time. Switching to certified green-friendly cleaning products can be easy to implement into your facilities. The green certification on these products was earned by having the product tested and quantified from toxicity limits to the energy used to produce them.

Certified cleaning products can help combat the spread of germs and help keep our employees safe in a more eco-friendly way. Parking and mobility professionals should make the conscious switch to green-friendly cleaning products and turn these higher standards into the industry norm.

Conor Burke is operations manager with VPNE Parking Solutions. This post is part of a five-day series commemorating Earth Day 2020.

The Promise of Digital Media

By Bill Smith, APR

I HAVE BEEN DOING PARKING PUBLIC RELATIONS (PR) FOR 25 YEARS (I’m really old). In that time, I’ve seen the industry experience incredible change, particularly when it comes to the effects of technology on operations and customer service. As you might expect, technology has also had an extraordinary impact on public relations and how we publicize parking and parking organizations.

When online publications first appeared in the mid-’90s, they caused quite a bit of panic in the PR world. The conventional wisdom was that with everyone able to communicate directly, old-school media would disappear. The typical advice to publicists was, better start looking for a new career!

Reality
To say these fears were misplaced would be an un­derstatement. While it’s true that the advent of the digital age has had an enormous effect, the end result has been the introduction of thousands of new digital publications. Many are online versions of traditional publications; some are online newsletters, blogs, and magazines published by traditional media; and still others are online-only outlets that cover parking or parking-related issues. As a result, there are literally thousands more opportunities for parking organiza­tions to publicize themselves and their services.

We’ve discussed the benefits of publicity in prior columns. There’s no better way to reach large num­bers of potential customers, strategic partners, and even employees. Publicity is a powerful tool that can increase your credibility, make prospective partners aware of you and your expertise, and help disseminate important messages to key audiences.
But to benefit from this tremendous media land­scape, you need to take the initiative. Public relations should be part of every organization’s marketing strat­egy, and the PR strategy should complement the rest of your marketing strategy.

Finding Your Audience
In looking for opportunities to publicize your organiza­tion, don’t limit your efforts to local media and parking publications—although industry publications remain a strong first-line publicity tool. There are thousands of publications out there with an interest in parking. Many are daily newspapers and business publications that serve communities facing parking issues and with transportation, planning, and features editors and reporters who would love to have access to your expertise on those parking and mobility issues. If your organization is national or international in scope, such as a consultant or technology provider, these publi­cations present many opportunities to promote your brand and raise awareness of your expertise.

There are also hundreds of non-parking trade pub­lications serving many vertical markets to which you market your services. The most common verticals for parking organizations are real estate and develop­ment, building ownership and management, hospi­tality and casinos, airports, universities, hospitals, and government management. Each of these verticals has several media outlets offering publicity opportunities.

Beyond the Obvious
There are also less obvious media targets, such as technology media, engineering, and architecture pub­lications, which also provide excellent opportunities to promote your organization. When seeking out targets, don’t limit yourself to only the most obvious indus­tries and categories. Opportunity often lies in unex­pected places, and it’s important to be creative and open-minded when seeking opportunity.

And of course, print publications represent just a fraction of the publicity opportunities open to you. For every print publication there are five online versions and online-only publications. Take advantage of them along with the traditional print vehicles.
Finally, when you generate publicity, that’s not the end of the process. Articles that you author or that mention you or your organization also make great marketing pieces. Make sure to post PDFs or links on your organization’s website and social media plat­forms. Also share your coverage by sending the PDFs and links to your digital mailing list.
The proliferation of digital media provides a dra­matically increased opportunity to promote you and your organization. Take advantage of this multitude of opportunities.

Read the article here.

BILL SMITH, APR, is principal of Smith-Phillips Strategic Communications and contributing editor of Parking & Mobility. He can be reached at bsmith@smith-phillips.com or 603.491.4280.

 

More Than Acronyms

by Mark D. Napier, CAPP

Why parking professionals need to understand NIMS and ICS and what each can do in a disaster.tpp-2016-05-more-than-acronyms_page_1

It is important for all parking professionals to understand the basic tenants of the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and the Incident Command System (ICS). The fundamentals of each are relevant to the parking industry, and the implementation of NIMS or the activation of an ICS structure are not limited to large-scale crisis events such as terrorism or natural disasters.

The terms NIMS and ICS are often incorrectly used interchangeably. ICS is in fact a component of NIMS. So what does each do, and how are they relevant to parking professionals? Read on.

NIMS

The events of Sept. 11, 2001, and the hurricane seasons of 2004 and 2005 increased our awareness that we needed to focus on improving our emergency management, incident coordination, and our capabilities across a full spectrum of potential incidents. We needed to put in place a national framework to prevent and handle significant events that potentially involve cross-jurisdictional government resources and participation by many other stakeholders. NIMS arose out of that need and establishes a national-approach framework.

NIMS provides a systematic, proactive approach to guide departments and agencies at all levels of government and the private sector to work seamlessly to prevent, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate the effects of incidents, regardless of cause, size, location, or complexity, to reduce the loss of life and property and harm to the environment. While it is true that perhaps only the federal government could design such a run-on sentence as a statement of purpose, we should find instructive what it indicates. NIMS’ intent is not to be limited only to government agencies and is not designed to be only reactive. NIMS also speaks to the need for multiple stakeholders to work together to reduce critical incidents and be able to effectively respond to them.

NIMS is comprised of four components that work together in a flexible and systematic manner:

1. Preparedness. This involves a host of activities conducted on an ongoing basis in advance of any potential incident—training, planning, establishing procedures, examining personnel qualifications, maintaining an inventory of equipment resources, and completing a scan of the environment to determine potential vulnerabilities. A parking professional should address at a minimum the following with respect to preparedness:

  • What are your total personnel resources?
  • Are your personnel ready to respond to a significant event?
  • Do you have an accurate inventory of your equipment resources?
  • Do you have up-to-date policies and procedures for handling significant events?
  • Have you conducted an assessment of potential vulnerabilities or other factors in the environment of your operation that could pose a threat (weather, nearby targets, etc.)?
  • Have you conducted exercises/drills to test your preparedness?

2. Communications and information management. Emergency management and incident response rely on the ability to communicate and access information systems. We need to assess in advance of an incident our capabilities with respect to this component. The significant error is to not consider the failure of systems during a significant event—it is probable that many of the systems relied upon during normal business would be dysfunctional. Consider what alternatives or potentials for redundancy might be available given a wide array of system compromises. The end result should be the development of reliable and scalable alternatives.

3. Resource management. This component involves two distinct facets: First, what are your current resources, and where are the gaps in what might be required to address a significant event? This includes both personnel and physical resources. Second, in a
significant event, how would resources be mobilized, tracked, and recovered? In a recent significant event, a parking operator felt comfortable that available cones and barricades were sufficient until he realized that there was no reliable system to transport them from a remote site to where they were needed. During Hurricane Katrina, dozens of New Orleans school buses sat in flooded parking lots after failing to be deployed to assist with evacuations.

4. Command and management. This component involves the ability to effectively and efficiently manage incidents through a standardized incident management structure—the Incident Command System (ICS). The preceding three steps should occur before an incident. This one ensures that we can appropriately respond when there is an incident.

5. Ongoing management and maintenance. We can think of this component as how we stay ready and prepared. Too often, we get excited about a new concept or program and then steadily lose interest over time. Unfortunately, this can lead to tragic results when we finally need to respond to significant event. We cannot look at NIMS as a one-and-done project. NIMS has to become a part of how we do business and something that is revisited and refreshed on a regular basis. This can be done through exercises, drills, refresher training, and effective debriefing of incidents when they occur. Another effective technique is reviewing critical events that happened in other locations, assessing how your operation would have responded under similar circumstances, and embracing a lessons-learned mindset.

Remember that the first three components are important. These are components that you must engage before an incident occurs. No matter how skilled you are at ICS or capable you might be with respect to command and management, you simply will fail if you have not paid attention to preparedness, communication and information management, and resource management ahead of an event.

There are tremendous resources and information under the “independent study” tab at training.fema.gov/is/. They are free of charge and content-rich.

ICS
There is a huge misconception in our industry that ICS only applies to first responders and extremely large crisis events. This is simply not the case. The parking professional needs to understand the fundamentals of ICS for two reasons: Our operations might be affected by the implementation of ICS during a significant event. Parking operations are not located in the middle of empty cornfields. Parking exists in congested areas, central business districts, college campuses, airports, and around critical infrastructure. All of these areas are prime locations for producing significant events.

There is also a great likelihood that parking operations will become part of the implementation of ICS activation. A knowledgeable parking professional can be an asset to handling the event instead of an uninformed bystander, or worse, an impediment to operations.

ICS as a structure is scalable and adaptable to address events from the relatively small to the catastrophic and highly relevant to the unique structure of parking. Using ICS for every incident, planned or unplanned, helps hone and maintain the skills needed for addressing large-scale and serious incidents.

Incident Command Structure
Structure and the integrity of structure are important elements to the successful implementation of ICS. For ICS implementation to lead to the successful handling of an incident, each member in the structure must understand his/her roles and responsibilities and have the discipline to stay within his or her confines. This often takes a much higher level of discipline than is present in our day-to-day operations and may be something many team members are entirely unaccustomed to.

The Incident Commander
When an incident spans only a single jurisdictional or operational area, there should be only one incident commander (IC). When an incident is so large as to span multiple jurisdictions or several operational areas, you might establish an incident management team (IMT) that is comprised of ICs from each jurisdiction or operational area. Most often, there will be a single IC who will assume responsibility over an incident, develop incident objectives, and serve as the central decision-maker for action plan implementation.

The IC should be the person with the greatest understanding of the incident, the incident environment, and the available resources. This person might also be selected based on training and supervisory/command abilities:

  • A command staff supporting the IC is comprised of a public information officer, a safety officer, and a liaison officer. The IC alone gives direction to his or her command staff.
  • The public information officer is responsible for interfacing with the media, public, and outside agencies with incident-related information.
  • The safety officer monitors the incident operations and notifies the IC of any health/safety issues that might affect incident personnel.
  • The liaison officer is the IC’s point of contact for representatives of other agencies and organizations that might support incident operations or be affected by them.

ICS General Staff
The operations section is responsible for carrying out the activities directed by the incident objectives at the direction of the IC. It does not freelance its activities. Any activity engaged in is at the expressed direction of the IC unless there exists an immediate unanticipated threat to life or property. The operations section may be subdivided to branches based on function or geographic disbursement.

The planning section is responsible for the collection and dissemination of incident situation information and intelligence to the IC. This section may compile status reports, display situation information, and prepare other documentation with input from the operations section chief for the IC. The planning section is further divided into support sections that report directly to the planning section chief:

  • Resources unit. Responsible for recording the status of resources committed to the incident. This unit also evaluates resources committed currently to the incident, the effects additional responding resources will have on the incident, and anticipated resource needs.
  • Situation unit. Responsible for the collection, organization, and analysis of incident status information and for analysis of the situation as it progresses.
  • Demobilization unit. Responsible for ensuring orderly, safe, and efficient demobilization of incident resources.
  • Documentation unit. Responsible for collecting, recording, and safeguarding all documents relevant to the incident.
  • Technical specialists. Personnel with special skills that can be used anywhere within the ICS organization.

The logistics section is responsible for all service support requirements needed to facilitate effective incident management. This section also provides facilities, transportation, supplies, equipment, and all other resources required to address the incident. In the activation of ICS, parking resources would most likely fall in the logistics section.

The logistics section is further divided into support sections:

  • Supply unit. Orders, receives, stores, and processes all incident-related resources, personnel, and supplies.
  • Ground support unit. Provides all ground transportation during an incident; also responsible for maintaining and supplying vehicles, keeping usage records, and developing incident traffic plans.
  • Facilities unit. Sets up, maintains, and demobilizes all facilities used in support of incident operations. The unit also provides facility maintenance and security services required to support incident operations.
  • Food unit. Determines food and water requirements, plans menus, orders food, provides cooking facilities, cooks, serves, maintains food service areas, and manages food security and safety concerns.
  • Communications unit. Major responsibilities include effective communications planning as well as acquiring, setting up, maintaining, and accounting for communications equipment.
  • Medical unit. Responsible for the effective and efficient provision of medical services to incident personnel.

The finance/administration section is only activated when the incident management is of such a scale as to require incident specific finance or administrative support.

ICS Implementation
It is easy to see that the ICS structure provides a comprehensive approach to handling significant incidents. However, to limit it to only those events is a lost opportunity to improve performance. How often have you approached a problem or challenge occurring in your parking operation to wonder if the right hand knows what the left hand is doing? ICS implementation clarifies roles and responsibilities while providing a structure that ensures coordination, communication, and a comprehensive approach. You need not implement every element of the ICS structure to derive significant benefit from it as a tool. Moreover, using it for smaller challenges or minor events is excellent practice for a major event.

Many forward-thinking parking professionals understand the power of ICS and do not wait for an incident or challenge to occur. They have regular tabletop exercises to simulate ICS implementation at a significant event. Some have gone as far as to have a topic presented for brief discussion at every weekly staff meeting. The more we practice with ICS, the more it becomes a part of how we operate and the more skilled we become at its implementation. Ideally, it should be second nature. You simply cannot wait until a significant event occurs and then hope for the best.

Additional ICS Considerations
Your parking operation may become part of the incident environment of an outside entity’s ICS activation. Being educated in ICS, you will better understand where your operation might fit in the incident environment and how decisions are made in the structure.

Recently, a large campus’ university police department got a call of a possible active shooter near the center of campus. Police activated ICS, and the IC decided that while the area search was conducted by operations, all personnel in the area should shelter in place. The supervisor of a parking garage in the area made the decision to open all the garage gates so people could escape the area. This interjected congestion into the area and caused people following the shelter-in-place order to believe there was a change and leave shelter. This could have led to tragic results. The parking professional needs to be aware of ICS and where decision-making resides during significant incidents.

A fundamental aspect of ICS implementation is the requirement for a debriefing. A debriefing allows us to reflect on performance and identify areas for improvement. Rank and organizational status must be left at the door for these to be effective. A debriefing should allow for very frank and direct conversations. The best of these can be incredibly uncomfortable. Remember, that practice does not make perfect; perfect practice makes perfect.

Finally, parking leadership should meet regularly with law enforcement and first responders in their area. We can be viewed as a valued partner because of the assets, both in terms of facilities and personnel, we can bring to an ICS activation. We should request to be included in exercises and drills. This connects us to the logistics section and identifies our resources under NIMS. We also will develop lines of communications and professional relationships that have meaningful value should we need assistance in addressing a significant event localized to our operations.

Back to NIMS
ICS is how we respond to incidents. NIMS is the global way we prepare for incidents, with ICS being one component thereof. Do not neglect the other components of NIMS.

We need to put the tools of NIMS and ICS in our toolbox but ensure they do not rust there. Conduct exercises and implement ICS on small events and for challenges that are more typical. When a major incident occurs, we should hope our people fall into the ICS structure with calm professional demeanor, without being prompting, and bring credit to our industry through competent incident resolution and valued collaboration with local first responders.

MARK D. NAPIER, CAPP, is associate director, parking and transportation services, at the
University of Arizona. He can be reached at mnapier@email.

TPP-2016-05-More than Acronyms