Friday, April 27, 2012

Amtrak revamps emergency, security approach

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Amtrak said Thursday it is "creating a new Emergency Management and Corporate Security department to integrate existing company-wide efforts into a single, cohesive unit to more effectively prepare for emergencies and disasters, mitigate their effects and allow for fast and efficient response and recovery."

"The new team will identify opportunities to strategically coordinate, train and put into practice consistent and efficient response and recovery efforts to better ensure the safety and security of our customers and employees," said Amtrak President and CEO Joe Boardman.

Eight emergency management-related functions currently are located in various Amtrak departments. Amtrak plans to integrate those functions into the new department, whose primary focus is emergency preparedness, continuity of operations, and corporate security risk strategy. Combining these functions will provide a framework in which to plan for, respond to and recover from incidents while also establishing and maintaining a uniform corporate security strategy.

Susan Reinertson, currently overseeing the Amtrak recovery and resiliency exercise program as well as continuity of operations planning, will lead the new department. Reinertson has a background in homeland security and emergency management consulting, as well as leadership experience at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Amtrak said.