1. Emergency Partner Credentialing System (EPCS)

On Tuesday, December 29th the Ohio Department of Public Safety announced that its Homeland Security Division would begin offering secure credentials to the private sector member organizations of the Ohio Public Private Partnership (OP3).  This Emergency Partner Credentialing System (EPCS), which is free to these member organizations, began on Friday, January 1, 2016.

At present there are two credential types:  Emergency-Specific Credentials, for use during a single emergency incident, and Multi-Emergency Credentials, for those who might be expected to respond often, such as utility workers.  EPCS credentials may be printed out or loaded to smart phones.

It must be noted here that local officials may still limit access to incidents due to safety concerns, but this program should eventually make it easier for the law enforcement community to separate response workers from sightseers.

The current OP3 membership list includes the American Radio Relay League, the American Red Cross, six District 3 colleges and universities and most major utilities, so don’t be too surprised if EPCS credentials start popping up soon.  For further details, go to https://homelandsecurity.ohio.gov/ to view the press release, two related newspaper articles and the OP3 web pages.