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Pegasus Program Facilitates Expedited Response and Reentry for Emergency Situations

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May 2014

During times of emergency situations and/or natural disasters, it is essential for both economic recovery and security to ensure that the necessary personnel are able to enter/reenter into controlled areas in a timely manner, while keeping unauthorized individuals out of these areas. The lack of common standard operating procedures both with states and across state lines has caused confusion and delays, resulting in hindering response and recovery efforts. The ER-ITN (Emergency Responder ID Trust Network) is a cloud-based tool providing operational support to emergency managers, law enforcement, emergency responders, critical infrastructure providers, and businesses to enable the safe, secure, and efficient reentry of personnel into crisis areas post-disaster. The ER-ITN service is operated by a commercial vendor selected by the Pegasus Program, a 501-c(3) (not-for-profit) organization chartered to provide support for IT/Data management issues impacting law enforcement.

The system works by enabling the coordination of information required for approving reentry and transit privileges between organizations, local emergency managers, and law enforcement. The goal of the system is to have appropriate personnel pre-enrolled and verified continuously to be ready for any event whenever it occurs. The system does support the ability for organizations, emergency managers, and law enforcement to register and approve personnel before, during, and after events to speed recovery. To facilitate the entry process, the program provides paper and electronic Vehicle Access Placards and Letters of Access for use when emergency situations arise. Since the tool is 100% web-based all members can access it from any device, such as a laptop or desktop computer, tablet, or smartphone. The system does NOT issue new ID cards, but utilizes the ID cards (licenses, company badges) already carried by individuals.

In addition to being used by local government, it is also beneficial for local businesses. Improved on-the-ground communication and situational awareness with state emergency coordinators helps areas affected by disaster, and well-coordinated emergency response will help business facilities and customers recover more quickly and in a safer fashion.

The program is based on a standard, known as the JSOP, developed in coordination with 13 National law enforcement, emergency management, fire chief, private security, and emergency medical associations. Standard procedures enabled by the program define a phased access to facilitate tiered re-entry.

Tier ER – Respond (emergency services only)
Tier 1 – Response Support (key resources to stabilize zone)
Tier 2 – Recover (resources to restore infrastructure)
Tier 3 – Rebuild (community can rebuild)

ER-ITN currently supports statewide programs in Louisiana (LASCAP) and Mississippi (MEAP). New programs for 2014 will include Alabama, Georgia, Michigan, and the eastern part of Texas. Registration in any one program will ensure access across any of the participating states.

To get set up with the program the organization must first be verified by local authorities and recognized as a trusted agent for emergency access. Registration is available online at www.eritn.com and organizations manage personnel, placards, and entry online. During an emergency, law enforcement can confirm entry approval via visual inspection or by using the barcode. Each company or individual employee only needs to register once to have a valid ID for any state using the program.

Law Enforcement, Emergency Management, and First Responder organizations can register for and access ER-ITN for free while critical infrastructure and commercial businesses are asked to pay a small annual fee for each essential person enrolled to help defray costs of the program. Fees per enrollee are from $9-24 and registration is for 1 year.

For more information, visit www.eritn.com or the State Police (LA), Highway Patrol (MS) websites.

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