Credentialing Private-Sector Emergency Workers


INTERVIEW with Pete Picarrilo, Executive Director for the Business Network of Emergency Resources (BNET)

Identification cards available to government organizations for free can help public-safety officials know what private-sector workers – such as facilities staff, IT workers or safety personnel — are permitted to access affected areas during emergencies.

Recognizing that the personnel who need to get around during emergencies and recovery operations extends beyond those with government or medical badges, the Business Network of Emergency Resources (BNET) developed the Corporate Emergency Access System (CEAS) to make it easier for law enforcement officials to verify that someone claiming to be essential company personnel is in fact essential.

“In some sense, it’s also meant to try to weed out folks that shouldn’t be there,” said Stuart Freiman, project manager at the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency, which has been using CEAS cards for more than two years.

CEAS uses a standard credential that preauthorizes crucial workers to gain access to restricted areas. Companies handle the vetting process and card issuance using the I-9 employment form, but government entities must adopt the voluntary CEAS program before industry employees can get cards and receive access.

Public-safety officials grant access by either visually examining the card or scanning . . .

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