COVOST

Introduction

COVOST logoOurs is a digital age where the virtual world must be fully engaged.

The Colorado Virtual Operations Support Team (COVOST) grew out of the Jefferson County Virtual Operations Support Team (JeffcoVOST).

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Type III Incident Management Team realized that the modern information sharing strategy must differ from traditional press release based ‘pad n paper’ media outreach. In 2013, the Sheriff’s Office thus created and activated, in partnership with the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, the JeffcoVOST.

The intent from the beginning was to define and refine the integrated social media and public information strategy. The Sheriff’s Office used the JeffcoVOST to not only support the information strategy but also to gather information for the purpose of informing and influencing the planning and operational response while simultaneously providing vital overall situational awareness.

In March of 2014, the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM) took over management  of the JeffcoVOST and rebranded the team as the COVOST.

The COVOST is specifically designed to be a resource that will be available to the state of Colorado and any local agency that wishes to fully experience the dual benefits of engaging with, and listening and responding to, the modern virtual landscape.

The COVOST is not meant to replace or substitute any social media response or plan. The COVOST is a resource that can be activated to supplement or enhance a community’s existing social media for emergency management (SMEM) plan.

The virtual operations and SMEM world is a relatively new realm with exciting possibilities. The Colorado Virtual Operations Support Team stands ready to further define and refine this virtual arena while leading and supporting communities across Colorado as they continue to mold SMEM into the powerful reality we already know it to be.

Activation History

Event/Incident Name Agency Supported Date Total Staffing Hours
2013 Jefferson County Flood Jefferson County Sheriff's Office September 2013 250 
Sgt Dave Baldwin Memorial Service Jefferson County Sheriff's Office January 2014 24
2014 USA Pro-Cycling Challenge Colorado DHSEM & City of Colorado Springs August 2014 171
CAUSE III International Experiment Multiple USA and Canada VOSTs November 2014 27
Ferguson related protests in Boulder Boulder Police Department December 2014 18
2015 Alpine World Ski Championships Eagle County Joint Information Center February 2015 420
420 Events University of Colorado - Boulder Police Department April 2015 55
2015 GOP Presidential Debates  University of Colorado - Boulder Police Department October 2015 66
Planned Parenthood Shooting City of Colorado Springs November 2015 66
2016 XGames Pikin County OEM January 2016 100

COVOST Presentation

 

Presentation with narrated slides: