Homeland Security Gives IAAM Foundation $250K for Venue Emergency Preparedness

The International Association of Assembly Managers (IAAM) Foundation has received a $250,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for use in stimulating emergency preparedness at arenas, amphitheaters, stadiums, convention centers and other public event venues, it announced yesterday.

Specifically, the IAAM Foundation will use its DHS grant to train facility managers, public safety personnel and other industry professionals in safety and security protocols for emergency preparedness. Training will be offered regionally by subject matter experts in association with the IAAM Academy for Venue Safety and Security.

"The faculty of IAAM's Academy of Venue Safety and Security are not only experts and engaging instructors, they have hands-on experience ranging from routine planning and preparation to involvement in major emergencies," said Dallas Convention Center Director Frank Poe, who serves as dean of the IAAM Academy of Venue Safety and Security Dean.

IAAM has been working with DHS for six years on a variety of projects, one of which—its Risk Self Assessment Tool (RSAT)—helps event venues and facilities assess and analyze their risks by measuring their vulnerability when it comes to a variety of potential threats. While venues can use the RSAT to identify potential safety and security enhancements, the IAAM Foundation's new training initiative will give them a unique opportunity to get hands-on education and attention from experienced emergency-planning experts.

"Ongoing preparation and training ensures that regardless of the type of emergency, that every level of venue staff is ready to jump into action," said Major League Baseball Senior Vice President Dan Mullin. "This training will help venues stay at the top of their game."

The IAAM Foundation's DHS grant is its second from the federal government, which has now given the association foundation $1 million in grant funding for venue safety and security.