Giffords’ staffer Pam Simon to speak at U.S. Homeland Security ‘Faithful Readiness’ Conference hosted by Pima County Sept. 20-22 in TucsonFriday, September 16th, 2011
Pima County, Ariz. (Sept. 16, 2011) – Lessons learned from the Jan. 8 mass shooting in Tucson will be shared with faith-based groups and others at a U.S. Homeland Security conference, “Faithful Readiness,” Sept. 20-22 at the Holiday Inn Hotel, 4550 S. Palo Verde Road in Tucson.
The event is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and hosted in Tucson by Pima County Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security.
Conference attendees will hear speakers from throughout the nation on cooperation between first-responders and faith-based groups, how communities can partner with faith-based groups in a crisis or disaster, and how to build a “whole community” response to a disaster.
The conference will bring Tucson, tribal, county, state and federal government representatives together with individuals from faith-based groups to help prepare the community to respond to future disasters and mass casualty incidents.
On Tuesday, conference participants will learn how the Pima County Office of Emergency Management and U.S. Department of Homeland Security are set up to function during a disaster under guidelines established by the federal government’s National Incident Command System.
John Wisner, a program manager in Pima County’s OEMHS, will talk about the Emergency Management Incident Command System at an introductory training session for attendees from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 20.
Pam Simon, Congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford’s community and faith liaison, will be the keynote speaker on Wednesday morning. Her talk, “A Time to Remember. A Time to Prepare,” is set for 8:45 a.m. on Sept. 21.
Simon was shot on Jan. 8 in the attack by a lone gunman at a constituent event hosted by Giffords in Tucson. Six people were killed in the incident.
Simon’s remarks will be followed by Pima County Sheriff’s Capt. Frank Duarte, who will present a case study of the Jan. 8 event.
Duarte will talk about the importance of multi-disciplinary cooperation during the emergency response to an incident that involved multiple public safety and medical entities.
The role of clergy in a disaster and how they can be trained to be “agents of safety” is the topic of a workshop on Wednesday, Sept. 21, at 10:45 a.m.
The conference will also provide information on how to make sure the needs of disabled children and adults and the elderly are met during a crisis, and faith leaders will talk about the principles involved in faith-based crises management, to help individuals be prepared and recover more effectively from a disaster or crisis.
Some of those who helped Hurricane Katrina victims who were evacuated to Tucson recover from that disaster will also take part in the conference.
Among the organizations taking part in the conference are the American Red Cross Southern Arizona Chapter, Grace Temple Missionary Baptist Church, Tucson Indian Center, Tucson NAACP, Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance of Tucson, Arizona Chapter of League of United Latino American Citizens, Community Alliance Addressing Disparities, Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Arizona Division of Emergency Management/Department of Emergency and Military Affairs and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Region IX.