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Together we are stronger


This special educational training event is for all first responders (law enforcement, corrections personnel, firefighters, EMS, 911 dispatchers), allied emergency responders, government officials and communities of practice.

Natural and man-made disasters will always be a part of our world. These events are unavoidable. Public safety officials are taxed with additional responsibility when disaster strikes, and they perform duties beyond their standard scope of practice.

There are best practices, lessons learned and resources that exist to aid short-term and long-term disaster recovery. This educational training symposium will shed light on available resources and ideas to consider as new strategies for rebuilding your communities after disaster and even your own teams.

Attendees will walk away with several educational resources, tips and ideas that they can apply in their agency.

Follow our event updates on social media: #IPSADC


Everyone is invited to register and attend our event.

Free Registration


The IPSA will recognize your organization from the moment you sign up through the event date. Below are the specific Exhibitor Registration levels. Questions? Contact us.

Exhibitor Levels
Exhibitor registration is first come, first serve. The space is limited, and we recommend early registration. Download our Exhibitor Prospectus.

Click here to register and learn about each opportunity.

  • Copper Level (no table): $500
  • Bronze Level (includes table): $1,500
  • Silver Level (includes table) $2,000
  • Gold Level (includes table): $2,500
  • Platinum Level (includes table): $3,000

Why exhibit?

The IPSA brings together the entire public safety community. Our attendees will include law enforcement, fire, EMS and public safety decision-makers.

We will set the stage for you by providing impressive and high-quality content to inspire conversations.

We promise to actively promote your company from the time you register through the end of the event. In other words, the earlier you register, the more value you get!

Space is very limited.



0800hrs to 845hrs: Opening Remarks

0845hrs to 0900hrs: Break

0900hrs to 1015hrs: Opening Keynote
3 Disasters in 24hrs – Lessons Learned from Ventura County’s Recovery from the Borderline Shooting in Thousand Oaks, a Law Enforcement Line of Duty Death and the Woolsey Fire
By J. Scott Quirarte, Battalion Chief with Ventura County (CA) Fire Department; IPSA Board Member; IPSA's NFPA 3000 Representative

Less than one year ago (November 7 and 8, 2018), three major disasters struck Ventura County - (1) the mass casualty shooting at the Borderline Bar and Grill (one of the deadliest in California history) in which 12 people were killed and more than 10 other were injured; (2) a law enforcement line of duty death that occurred during the shooting and by the next morning (3) the Woolsey Fire ignited and lasted for more than a week. The significant wildfire was taxing for all first responders as it devastated more than 96,000 acres of land, destroyed 1,643 structures, killed three people and prompted the evacuation of more than 295,000 individuals. During this keynote presentation, attendees will hear about the challenges that first responders encountered during these three disasters and the steps they have taken to rebuild their community and their first responders' resiliency. 

0945hrs to 1000hrs: Break

1045hrs to 1145hrs: General Session
What Next: How to Transition Disaster Survivors Along the Road to Recovery
By Mark Tinsman, Supervisory, Emergency Management Specialist with FEMA; Katherine Galifianakis, Senior Director Response with the American Red Cross; and Sarah Egan, Emergency Management Program with FEMA

While working to support disaster survivors through the disaster housing continuum of congregate and non-congregate sheltering, interim housing, and permanent housing, the transition of disaster survivors from the congregate sheltering environment to non-congregate, interim or other appropriate housing can be challenging. Resolving the complex issues facing congregate, emergency shelter residents can require the active engagement of multiple local, state and federal agencies as well as non-governmental organizations. This session will address the barriers to successfully assisting disaster survivors, and the resources necessary to support their transition out of congregate shelters. The panel will highlight a proven multi-agency approach to assisting disaster survivors on their road to recovery.

1145hrs to 1315hrs: Lunch on Your Own

1315hrs to 1415hrs: General Session
Communicating in a Crisis; Leveraging social media when it counts
By Crystal Nosal, PIO with Alexandria (VA) Police; an additional PIO TBD and moderated by Lauri Stevens with LAwS Communications

This panel will discuss best communications practices when crisis happen whether planned or not. From an ambush shooting at a congressional baseball game to weather emergencies or other disasters, the professional government communicator must be ready for anything to happen because it will. These panelists have dealt crisis large and small and will share their experiences; what went well and what didn't. Related Article

1415hrs to 1430hrs: Break

1430hrs to 1530hrs: General Session
Lessons learned from the Barcelona and Cambrils terrorist attacks
By Dr. Nuria Querol with the Catalan Institute of Health (Spain)

On August 17, 2017, a terrorist drove a van into pedestrians on La Rambla in Barcelona, Spain, killing 13 people and injuring at more than 130 others. Nine hours, five men thought to be members of the same terrorist cell drove into pedestrians in nearby Cambrils, killing one woman and injuring six others. All five of those attackers were shot and killed by police. DAESH is dynamic and evolves constantly, therefore after every terrorist attack, a detailed analysis must be carried out to identify if there have been weak points in the detection of radicalization and recruitment methods, if terrorists had police records (also in other countries) as well as if identify a new modus operandi. In the aftermath of the attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils, we identified negative outcomes such as working long hours for first responders (especially law enforcement and EMS), the delay in receiving psychological treatment for the victims and the refusal of the government to consider them as victims of terrorism, which caused institutionalized victimization (some survivors developed PTSD). A positive outcome was the solidarity of the citizenship and the acknowledgment of police officers.

1530hrs to 1600hrs: Break

1600hrs to 1700hrs: General Session
What first responders need to know about the Crisis Event Response & Recovery Access (CERRA) framework

By James Byrne, Executive Director of the CERRA National Governance Board, an additional panelist and moderated by George Renteria Chief, Emergency Services Section with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security

The capability for first responders, government officials and allied authorities to securely and effectively control and coordinate the access of key response and recovery resources into an affected area during an emergency has been identified as a critical success factor in enabling overall community recovery. The Crisis Event Response and Recovery Access (CERRA) Framework focuses on supporting state, local, and regional efforts to enable the successful transit and access of critical response and recovery resources before, during and after crisis. The United States Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, its Emergency Services Sector and its State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Government Coordinating Council are jointly working on outreach, education, and adoption of the Crisis Event Response and Recovery Access framework. This presentation will describe how the CERRA effort is being operationalized, the uses of CERRA by emergency services and critical infrastructure organizations and discuss its strategy for the next two years.


0800hrs to 0815hrs: Welcome Back

0815hrs to 0915hrs: General Session
Crisis Counseling after disasters

By Rachel Cychosz, Section Chief with FEMA and Erik Hierholzer, CAPT with the United States Public Health Service, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Lead Public Health Advisor, Emergency Mental Health and Traumatic Stress Services Branch, Center for Mental Health Services

Crisis counseling is a necessary after-action practice that jurisdictions must be prepared to roll-out after a disaster strikes. Response teams and survivors will experience several challenges and witness several traumatic scenes from an event and even during disaster recovery. These scenes and experiences will likely create some level of trauma that the response teams and survivors will need to cope with in order to move through and past the devastation that disasters cause. During this presentation, the panelists will shed light on some of the critical issues that response teams and survivors will experience during disaster recovery. The panelists will discuss methods for identifying and managing these issues and share available resources and information about how to implement an effective crisis counseling program. Attendees will walk away with a better understanding about how to effectively roll-out a crisis counseling program, how to successfully implement it and gain new insight about FEMA's Crisis Counseling Program that is available to states, territories and tribes after a major disaster declaration in the United States.

0915hrs to 0945hrs: Break

0945hrs to 1045hrs: General Session
Insight from the FAA about using UAS/drones to aid disaster recovery
Michael K. O’Shea, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Aviation Safety (AVS), Program Manager, Safety and Integration Division

The capabilities and missions that UAS can provide to public safety agencies continues to increase as this emerging technology produces lesson learned and novel approaches to response with increased use in disasters. In a disaster or emergency incident, responders are exposed to hazardous environments or unable to gain timely access to a location to deal with the situations they confront. The UAS, with various types of sensors attached, allows the responders to initially remain clear of the hazards or provide a timely perspective of the incident to gain situational awareness. During this presentation, attendees will learn about the regulatory process to be able to fly in disasters and disasters recovery. Attendees will walk way with an understanding of the differences between Part 91 Public Aircraft Operations and Part 107 Remote Pilot Certificated operations. Related Article

1045hrs to 1100hrs: Break

1100hrs to 1200hrs: General Session
Animals Matter: Why Emergency Responders Need Plans for Animals In Disaster Response and Recovery
By Chief John Thompson (ret.), Executive Director and CEO, National Animal Care & Control Association

Disasters have detrimental impacts to the infrastructure, economy, and communities they leave in their wake. Successful response and recovery includes effective planning and evacuation plans. We have seen time and again where disasters emphasized the need for a companion pet emergency response plan. Provisions for pet evacuations and clear communication and expectations of the community and responders. Katrina and other disasters have taught us there are many barriers to evacuation, including the lack of transportation for pets and lack of availability for pet friendly sheltering. As a result, first responders have to deal with residents who would not cooperate or follow instructions.

Pets are being viewed and treated as a family member, not just a pet. We have seen story after story were residents in disaster-affected areas risk their own lives and endanger the lives of responders in order to remain or rescue their pets. Studies from recent disasters have shown that communities with increased pet populations had a direct correlation to the increased likelihood of evacuation failure.

Emergency preparedness for animals is improving. The US government passed the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards (PETS) Act which requires all community planning entities to have an evacuation plan that includes animals. Regardless of improvements made, there is still a critical need nationwide to enhance animal response planning, resources and capabilities at the state and local level.

Learn how the challenges of the 2013 Colorado Floods turned into a proven multi-agency plan and the aftermath of 2018 California Camp Fire which challenged every plan that was made. Attendees will gain an understanding on why it is important and necessary to consider animals in their disaster planning. They will also learn about the many animal welfare organization including the National Animal Care and Control Association who offer valuable information and resources on preparing, planning and responding to animal emergencies in their states and communities.


Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center
4915 East Campus Drive
Alexandria, VA 22311



DCA is the closest airport to the venue. IAD is in proximity, but a little further. 

Uber or Lyft are the best options when travelling to/from the venue. The DC area is a highly populated area so the wait time for a driver is minimal. 


The IPSA does not have a room block, but we suggest these local hotels:


All press and media inquiries about this event must be sent to Executive Director Heather R. Cotter. 

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