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ACS, Pa gov’t partnership just one example of community collaboration

Becky Myers and Jeff Hanks from ACS and emergency manager Barry Shughart and volunteer Brian Proa took part in the multi-day mass care focused exercise held at Shippensburg University and Penn State Harrisburg Aug. 13-16.

Members of the Carlisle Barracks Army Community Service and Emergency Management staff recently took part in evaluating a State Health and Human Services exercise.

Becky Myers and Jeff Hanks from ACS and emergency manager Barry Shughart and volunteer Brian Proa took part in the multi-day mass care focused exercise held at Shippensburg University and Penn State Harrisburg Aug. 13-16.

“We were involved in all the planning starting in August of 2015, helped evaluate and contributed to the After Action Review,” said Shughart. “This exercise was a great opportunity for our ACS staff who do sheltering (safe haven) for Carlisle Barracks, to see how sheltering is managed at the state level.”

Shughart also said that the experience allowed the ACS and Emergency Management staff to make valuable contacts at the state, Red Cross and many other strategic level providers that will be invaluable if a large incident requires sheltering of Carlisle Barracks personnel.

“We also better understand the mechanics, management and who to contact in these types of emergency response or requests which will reduce the impact to Carlisle Barracks personnel quickening the recovery process,” he said.

The experience is just one of the ways that Carlisle Barracks partners with the community for emergency response. The installation police and fire departments partner with many local townships and boroughs to help create and safe and more secure community.  

Partnerships are "win-win" for both the Army and the organizations they partner with. It allows a sharing of resources, training opportunities, and work together for the good of the community.

One of the key areas of partnerships here are aimed at youth and families. Through partnerships with organizations such as 4-H, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Military Child Education Coalition, the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies, and organizations in the local community, the Carlisle Barracks Child and Youth Services is able to deliver quality education programs to children and youth, as well as provide support to Army Families.

For organizations like Army Community Services, these partnerships are vital for their operations. They allow them to expand their reach and provide services to a larger client base, including retirees. Through the ACS  Information & Referral role, they maintain a directory of resources and are constantly updating this directory. Leveraging partnerships allows us to stay relevant and current regarding resources for our military families. These services and partnerships include job fairs, joint trainings and more.

One of the most visible partnerships here at Carlisle Barracks are with local first responders. Carlisle Barracks has partnerships with the Cumberland County Chiefs of Police Association; Castle's K9 Inc.; and the Fire departments in Carlisle Borough and North Middleton Townships. These relationships allow the departments to share information, training opportunities, and resources.

An example is the Carlisle Barracks Fire Department supporting Cumberland County to provide additional support to the Community's volunteer firefighters and partners with the County HAZMAT Team for training and resources sharing.

The community also values the expertise of the staff here. For example, Det. Svend Sheppard of the Department of the Army Police here hosts an annual bicycle officers training course that brings officers from all over the region. The Army War College speaker’s bureau places nearly 300 speakers each year at events all over the region to include civic organization events, college and high school classrooms, and ceremonies. This academic year it has placed nearly 100 speakers who have shared their expertise on topics like U.S. operations in Afghanistan, leadership, the U.S role in humanitarian assistance, ethics, and the role of the military in response to ISIL.