BCFS’ Kari Tatro Participates in Women and Crisis Leadership Panel

BCFS’ Kari Tatro Participates in Women and Crisis Leadership Panel Discussion

BCFS Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Kari Tatro was invited as a panelist for the Homeland Security Advisory Council’s Distinguished Speaker Series held at the University of Southern California. Kari shared the floor with the Sector Commander and Captain of the Port for US Coast Guard, Assistant Chief and Director of the Office of Special Operations for the Los Angeles Police Department, and the Director of the National Center for Security and Preparedness. The panel explored the roles women play in crisis leadership, sharing challenges, insights, and lessons learned throughout their distinguished careers.

As a panelist, Kari shared anecdotes from the frontlines of emergency responses in the wakes of hurricane, flood, fire, and earthquake disasters experienced throughout her 15-year emergency management career. She is currently serving as Incident Commander for BCFS Emergency Management Division’s ongoing response operations, managing multiple incidents with more than 250 deployed personnel helping stabilize communities ravaged by the 2017 hurricane season.

BCFS Names Segura and Tatro Co-Chief Operating Officers

BCFS, a global system of six separate 501c3 non-profit organizations, has named Asennet Segura EVP/COO – Community, International & Residential Operations, and Kari Tatro EVP/COO – Administration, Education & Emergency Operations for the growing system headquartered in San Antonio.

Photo: Asennet Segura

Segura has been with the organization for more than 18 years, and as EVP/COO of Community, International & Residential Operations she will oversee all aspects of the agency’s residential system. This encompasses emergency shelters for children who have been abused or neglected; assisted living services and vocational training for adults with intellectual disabilities; mental health services for children and families; foster care and adoption services; medical services; early childhood education; transitional living services for youth who are at-risk and those in the juvenile justice system; residential camping and retreats for children and families; and international humanitarian aid for children living in impoverished conditions in developing countries.

Since joining the organization in 1997, Segura has been one of the chief drivers of the growth and expansion within the agency, overseeing the development and implementation of significant programs from coast-to-coast and around the world.

Photo: Kari TatroKari Tatro is an 8-year veteran with the BCFS system and one of the nation’s foremost experts on inclusionary planning to meet the needs of people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs during disasters. As EVP/COO – Administration, Education & Emergency Operations, Tatro will oversee several internal agency functions including information technology, resource and asset management, procurement, property management, and personnel learning and development. Tatro will also manage multiple external-facing programs including BCFS Education Services, which provides early education services to ready young learners for academic achievement and success in school, as well as BCFS Health and Human Services’ Emergency Management Division – a national leader and partner of local, state and federal government entities in preparedness and response efforts.

Under Tatro’s guidance and supervision, the agency maintains a multidisciplinary all-hazards Incident Management Team comprised of more than 200 highly-trained and experienced emergency management personnel throughout the nation, a 200-person Disaster Medical Staffing Team and a 250-person Disaster Case Management Team. Additionally, Tatro provides oversight of disaster response resources and assetts including a robust fleet of emergency response vehicles ready to deploy at a moment’s notice with two state-of-the-art mobile command platforms, medical mobile units, shelter support units, advanced satellite communications and cellular equipment, and a massive supply of cached resources warehoused by BCFS EMD with an exceptional logistical supply chain to meet all incident needs.

“When an organization is as far-reaching as BCFS, operating in high-stakes environments on a daily basis, ensuring continuity of operations and quality control is not just critical, it’s a no-fail charge. That is the level of commitment, management and leadership Segura and Tatro bring to the table every day, 24/7,” said Kevin Dinnin, President and CEO of BCFS. “Both of these individuals take an ‘owner’s attitude’ in everything they do and have a proven ability to manage complex programs, a large workforce, sizable budgets, and – most importantly – they have my full trust and confidence in their ability to manage and guide our organization.”


BCFS is a global system of health and human service non-profit organizations with locations and programs throughout the United States as well as Eastern Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa. The organization is a national leader in medical sheltering and emergency management and response, providing critical emergency support services to federal, state and local governments. BCFS also provides residential services and emergency shelters for children who are abused or neglected; assisted living services and vocational training for adults with intellectual disabilities; mental health services for children and families, foster care and adoption services; medical services; early education; transitional living services for youth who are at-risk and those in the juvenile justice system; residential camping and retreats for children and families; and international humanitarian aid for children living in impoverished conditions in developing countries.

BCFS Names John Linstrom as National Deputy Director of Mitigation and Preparedness Services

BCFS Health and Human Services has named longtime and lauded first responder, John Linstrom, as National Deputy Director of Mitigation and Preparedness Services. Linstrom will establish and execute key partnerships with federal and state governments focused on bolstering emergency response readiness and capacity across the nation. Linstrom has more than 30 years of experience in emergency management.

Photo Above: John Linstrom leading a briefing during BCFS EMD’s response to Hurricane Alex. Linstrom is shown on the right wearing glasses

As published on Fire Engineering

SAN ANTONIO – BCFS Health and Human Services has named longtime and lauded first responder, John Linstrom, as National Deputy Director of Mitigation and Preparedness Services. In this role, Linstrom will establish and execute key partnerships with federal and state governments focused on bolstering emergency response readiness and capacity across the nation.

“John is a well-respected and extremely experienced emergency manager known for his knowledge, experience, instincts and poise under pressure,” said BCFS Executive Vice President of Emergency Management Kari Tatro. “He is a great fit for this position and we are glad to have him on our team.”

Linstrom has more than 30 years of experience in emergency management and has responded to thousands of  emergencies, including the 9/11 World Trade Center attack, Hurricane Katrina, Rita, Dolly, Ike and Gustav, the F5 tornado that struck Oklahoma City, and the Haiti Earthquake. A former fire fighter, paramedic and Task Force Leader for Texas Task Force 1, Linstrom has led national response teams for incident management, forensic mass fatality recovery, and urban search and rescue for nearly 15 years.

He has been a part of BCFS’ Emergency Management Division team since 2008 and will continue to serve as the federal Disaster Mortuary Response Team Commander for California, Arizona, Nevada and Hawaii. Linstrom holds the highest level of National Board Certification in Homeland Security, is a Member of the Institution of Fire Engineers, the International Association of Emergency Managers, as well as the International Association of Arson Investigators.

For more information on BCFS’ work in emergency management, please visit www.BCFS.net/EMD.

BCFS’ Emergency Management Division Contracted by FEMA to Develop National “Whole Community” Disaster Training Program

 

As published by CNBC

SAN ANTONIO, Nov 15, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) — As the Northeast struggles to recover from the massive damage caused by Superstorm Sandy, state leaders across the country are witnessing the importance of having an emergency management plan in place that specifically accounts for the unique needs of communities and their residents. Recognizing that all disasters begin locally, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has awarded a contract to BCFS Health and Human Services’ Emergency Management Division (BCFS EMD) to deliver a multi-tiered national training program that provides specific, realistic tools to enable states to develop inclusive emergency plans for the “whole community.” “Whole community planning” positions officials to analyze and develop targeted operational plans that serve the various needs of all residents and communities in their jurisdiction.

Planning for the whole community may range from identifying populations that predominantly speak a language other than English, to ensuring access to alternate care facilities for health care centers that are not able to handle a significant medical surge. BCFS EMD’s training will also emphasize the importance of engaging individual community members as well as private sector businesses – ranging from grocery chains to energy companies – to ensure efficient and sufficient mass care efforts.
“Even as additional resources are requested from state or federal governments, the responsibility to answer the immediate initial needs of communities impacted by an emergency will typically always fall on the local community,” said BCFS President and CEO Kevin Dinnin.

“Plans on paper don’t mean anything if they aren’t realistic in what a jurisdiction can do and who they are going to serve,” he continued. “That’s why BCFS EMD’s national trainings will be based on best practices in real world operational responses and experience.” Headquartered in San Antonio, Texas and with offices from coast-to-coast and on four continents, BCFS EMD is one of the top emergency management partners for FEMA, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and various states across the nation. The organization is a nationally recognized leader in serving vulnerable populations during disasters, and in 2010, wrote FEMA’s national Guidance for the Integration of Functional Needs Support Services in General Population Shelters.

BCFS’ EMD division provides critical emergency support services to federal, state and local governments, as well as private businesses and institutions, before, during and after disasters. The organization has responded to many of the major disasters that have taken place in the last decade in the U.S., as well as some international emergencies, like the earthquake in Haiti.

“Emergency management officials recognize the need for comprehensive local planning. That’s where disasters begin, and local governments become the initial lifeblood of survival,” said Kari Tatro, BCFS Executive Vice President of Emergency Management. “The more preparedness efforts zero in on specifics in their plans – hearing directly from community members and businesses, identifying gaps in services, and locking in contingency plans with vendors – the more resilient they will be for any type of incident.” BCFS EMD’s whole community planning trainings will be rolled out in five phases, spanning over three years. It will be consistent with federal regulations, policies and guidance. By 2015, the entire training program will encompass Train-the-Trainer courses, national webinar presentations, speaker presentations at national and state level conferences, and online independent study courses featured by the FEMA Emergency Management Institute.

BCFS EMD will also produce a pilot curriculum template for inclusion in FEMA’s Center for Domestic Preparedness at its Noble Training Center located in Anniston, Alabama.

For emergency response services 24 hours a day, call 1-800-337-0373

ABOUT BCFS EMD

BCFS Health and Human Services’ Emergency Management Division (BCFS EMD) provides all hazards preparedness consultation, incident management and full-scale emergency response support to local, state and federal agencies throughout the U.S. In addition to FEMA’s whole community planning contract, BCFS EMD is also currently working with the City of Los Angeles to enhance their emergency management program to account for the whole community. This expertise is bolstered by the agency’s position as a national leader in medical sheltering and – having developed FEMA’s Guidance for the Integration of Functional Needs Support Services in General Population Shelters – is the foremost expert in writing and implementing equitable emergency operations programs that serve the whole community.
BCFS began its work in emergency management during the 1993 Branch Davidian incident in Waco, Texas, providing emergency sheltering for the children caught in the crossfire.

In recent years, BCFS has been part of many of the most high profile incidences experienced in the U.S. During hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Dolly, Gustav, Ike and Alex, BCFS sheltered thousands of survivors of varying ages whose pre-storm conditions ranged from no disabilities to high medical acuities. In 2008, BCFS led incident command for the Texas Department of State Health Services as part of Texas Task Force Ike – the largest mobilization of response resources in history. BCFS has also responded in sheltering and IMT capacities for other hazards, such as widespread wildfires, the outbreak of the H1N1 Flu, and the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints (FLDS) compound incident.

Abroad, BCFS was called upon by the Sri Lankan government to provide emergency support after the devastating 2004 tsunami killed more than 225,000 people. The agency was also made available as a U.S. resource following the recent earthquake in Haiti, eventually deploying to gain command and control of one of the only operating hospitals near Port au Prince.

Members of BCFS EMD’s Incident Management Team (IMT) have responded to every major critical incident in the U.S. in the past 12 years, including 9/11, the H1N1 flu pandemic, and countless hurricanes, tornados, fires, floods, hazardous material spills and earthquakes. Our team consists of medical and mental health experts, disability policy and rights advocates, former fire and police leaders, national emergency planning and training experts, legal professionals, academicians, research and policy professionals, and public health veterans. It also includes former department leaders from FEMA, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

In addition to response, BCFS has developed the largest Alternate Care Facility (ACF) capacity in the nation outside of the U.S. military. These sites serve as a medical surge capacity for local hospitals, medical shelters, primary triage points, designated community-focused care clinics, or points of distribution for medications or vaccinations during a public health emergency. Building ACF capacity prevents local healthcare systems from being overwhelmed with demand for services during disaster, thereby enhancing states’ ability to respond.

BCFS speaks and conducts trainings regularly at state and national conferences, and serves as a consultant to jurisdictions throughout the nation regarding shelter operations, emergency preparedness and community capacity building.