After spending five days running the sidelines outside the Ravens’ football stadium, Pennsylvania’s Incident Management Team returned Tuesday from Baltimore.
‘Charm City’ streets saw several days of protests and violence that kept 3,000 officers, swat members, and National Guard members busy around the clock. Managing that many assets needed a group to coordinate everything people didn’t see.
“It’s anything you can think of… from food to weapons, to protective equipment, places to sleep to eat — all of that,” said David Carichner.
Carichner along with 11 other Pennsylvania IMT members spent five days of 16-hour shifts making sure the frontlines had what they needed. And, in the case of Baltimore, nobody was sure how the situation would escalate or dismantle any given day or any given hour.
“You never really know what you’re going up against,” said Arthur Kaplan.
IMT is made up of personnel from various emergency management agencies from around the Commonwealth. Primarily, the team runs logistics when needed during fires and floods. But the civil unrest in Baltimore provided a unique challenge of managing hundreds of law enforcement that would change daily depending which state would send resources.
“All the activities that go along with dealing that many people coming into a staging area, ready to move out when they need to,” Kaplan said.
When the team returned Tuesday morning, several went to help manage 40 fire departments that are fighting massive wildfires in Carbon County. Although Carichner and Kaplan saw the protests, their duties kept them away from most of the danger.
They said staying safe would only instill that the operation remains as safe as possible.
“We don’t carry weapons; we don’t wear the bullet-proof vests,” said Carichner. “So, we need to make sure we’re off-site and out of the picture a little bit.”