Today was an exciting day at West 2010--and I'm not talking about the dynamic speakers and exhibitors. This morning my hotel had a small fire somewhere near the lobby, so I woke up before my alarm because of the loud, persistent sirens coming in through my window. Fortunately the situation was handled quickly and easily--thanks to San Diego's finest first responders. Unfortunately, I saw those first responders this afternoon after a medical emergency occurred on the exhibit floor.
But to tie all this excitement into the core foci of AFCEA: these two events emphasized the importance of emergency preparedness, communication, information sharing and coordination. While I and some other attendees were calling 911, others were running outside the convention center to lead the first responders to the situation. Still others were helping out on the floor and contacting convention staff, who immediately coordinated with their own security and medical teams.
On a larger scale, similar situations are happening every day among our military and government agencies, here in the United States and internationally. That's why events like West are important; they help organizations share information, coordinate, communicate, engage, network, brainstorm--and work to keep us all safe.