And, in a recent report released by the Government Accountability Office, the DERT project was listed in an audit of best practices in disaster response planning.
DERT also works with a group called Law Enforcement and Private Security (LEAPS), which serves as a liaison between police and private security professionals in the greater Dallas area (see sidebar).
To meet the special needs of the district, the DERT team draws on the expertise of security directors, property managers, general contractors, and representatives of the city of Dallas.
To help address this issue, DERT developed an access plan that includes a private sector command post, preissued perimeter passes, on-site perimeter passes, and clearly marked helmets.
As part of the plan, certain private sector officials are issued perimeter passes by DERT in advance of any emergencies so that when an incident occurs, they can use those passes to show that they are authorized to gain entrance to their own properties even if they are in an area cordoned off from the general public.
DERT addressed this problem by developing a color-coded system of helmets that all pass holders wear when entering the restricted area.
In cooperation with the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA), DERT designed reflective decals, with letters and colors that denote a person's job, to be attached to the front and back of hard hats.
Everyone involved in DERT understands the major importance of developing contacts and relationships to enhance cooperation.
DERT has met several times with the fire department since then.
DERT is also updating the way information is provided to the fire department.
After-action reports such as the one previously discussed are critical for DERT in updating emergency response plans.