Smart Growth & Regional Collaboration
MAPC was chosen by the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security through a competitive process to distribute State Homeland Security Program grants from DHS.
Our team manages grants given to four regional Homeland Security Councils and provides planning, procurement, budgeting, reporting, administrative, project development, and contractor, vendor and project management services that help make the Commonwealth a safer place to live and work.
The Central Region Homeland Security Advisory Council, Southeast Regional Homeland Security Advisory Council, Western Region Homeland Security Advisory Council, and Northeast Homeland Security Regional Advisory Council were created by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security in 2004 to serve as policy making bodies for homeland security preparedness in their regions. The councils are comprised of volunteers with expertise in all relevant public safety disciplines including law enforcement, fire service, emergency management, public health, emergency medical services, public works, transportation, corrections, healthcare, and local government administration.
MAPC manages projects on behalf of NERAC that enhance municipal emergency preparedness capabilities by providing training and exercise opportunities for first responders, purchasing emergency response equipment, enhancing regional communications systems, improving school safety, and more.
The NERAC region was formed by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS) in 2004 and is one of five homeland security planning regions in the Commonwealth. The region contains 85 communities stretching from Ashby in the Northwest to Salisbury in the Northeast to Holliston in the Southwest, skirting the inner core of Metro Boston.
See a list and map of NERAC communities.
MAPC provides planning, facilitation, administrative support, project management, and fiduciary services to NERAC to help implement the Council’s regional homeland security plan. Efforts are funded by EOPSS through a grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
If you would like to learn more, please contact MAPC's Grants Management Coordinator, Austin Murray, at 617.933.0755 | firstname.lastname@example.org.
Regional Cache System
Through its Regional Cache System, NERAC provides communities with approximately $4 million of large equipment resources such as mobile generators, sign boards, light towers, communications towers, heaters, and water pumps that cannot be justifiably procured and maintained by individual communities, but are necessary for effective emergency response activities.
These resources are stored at three locations in the region (Beverly, Framingham, and Lexington), and can be borrowed by any municipality whenever they are needed for a nominal daily fee. The equipment has been accessed almost 400 times since 2010 for disasters such as snowstorms, flooding, wind damage, and the Boston Marathon bombing, as well as for planned events including parades, fireworks displays, and road races.
Regional Trainings and Exercises
NERAC has supported an extensive training and exercise program since 2004 to enable first responders to learn, refine, sustain, and test critical skills related to incident management, medical care, hazardous materials handling, search and rescue, social media use, and more.
A primary area of focus has been to hold multi-jurisdictional and multi-disciplinary tabletop exercises, which provide forums for large groups of stakeholders to deliberately talk through challenging situations in a controlled environment and identify areas where plans, capabilities, or resources need to be changed or enhanced.
NERAC has also reimbursed public safety agencies in the region for $1.3 million of backfill and overtime costs incurred as a result of sending personnel to Incident Command System (ICS) training, which is the nationally standardized model for public safety incident management.
Improving the safety of students and staff in the region’s schools has been a priority initiative for NERAC since 2004. Using a model developed by the Northeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council (NEMLEC) School Threat Assessment and Response System (STARS) Unit, NERAC has funded the development of floorplans in over 650 schools so that first responders have the information they need available to them whenever they respond to a school for an emergency. NERAC has also worked with NEMLEC’s STARS Unit to develop a comprehensive all-hazards guide to school safety preparedness, which was published in March of 2017 and can be viewed here.
To assist municipalities with regional communications during events that require the response of more than one municipality, NERAC has continually invested in the enhancement and expansion of the Boston Area Police Emergency Radio Network (BAPERN), Northeast Central Emergency Medical Direction (CMED), and the Fire Control Points Communications System. These are the three primary networks used for command and control communications during events of regional significance, and help to coordinate mutual aid resources, provide wide area situational awareness, and link stakeholders from different disciplines together.
NERAC’s infrastructure investments have enabled each system to expand their viable coverage areas, build redundancy so that no single points of failure exist, and reduce their reliance on privately owned infrastructure such as copper phone lines.