DHS Awards to EIC Members for Emergency Response Standards Work
EIC and Its Members Receive Awards from DHS's Disaster Management eGov Initiative
Washington, DC, USA. February 17, 2005.
The Emergency Interoperability Consortium (EIC) today announced that several of its member organizations and companies have received Department of Homeland Security awards for providing outstanding leadership in emergency data interoperability, including participating in the first use of the Emergency Data Exchange Language (EDXL). Congressman Curt Weldon (R-PA), Vice Chairman of the House of Representatives' Homeland Security Committee, announced the awards on behalf of the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Disaster Management eGov Initiative. Gordon Fullerton, Executive Sponsor of the DHS Initiative, conferred the award certificates on executives of the organizations.
Weldon noted that "In conjunction with the EIC, the Disaster Management eGov Initiative is facilitating the development of common data standards to allow emergency response agencies to share data with each other, regardless of the communications system they are using."
The DHS certificate of award states that the organizations were recognized "for their leadership in helping to remove the barrier of data interoperability in emergency response." Fullerton noted that many of the awardees are direct competitors in the marketplace, yet cooperated in sharing emergency data using the new standards. Congressman Weldon announced the following organizations that received awards: Apex Innovations, Appian Corporation, Battelle, Blue 292, Inc., the ComCARE Alliance, DICE Corporation, the Emergency Interoperability Consortium, Emergency Services Integrators, E Team, Fire Monitoring Technologies International, Inc., The George Washington University Homeland Security Policy Institute, MyStateUSA, Proxicom, SDI, Towson University Center for GIS, and Xybernaut.
These companies and organizations first successfully held an emergency communications interoperability demonstration using the Emergency Data Exchange Language at The George Washington University on October 27th, 2004. Since that time the EIC, along with its many partners, has continued to conduct such demonstrations around the country.
EIC is working with emergency response organizations to facilitate the development of additional common data messaging standards to allow emergency response agencies to share data with each other, regardless of the communications system they are using. "We look forward to more companies and organizations joining in the effort that the EIC and Disaster Management eGov Initiative have begun." said Matt Walton, EIC chairman and vice chairman and founder of E Team, Inc., a Los Angeles-based manufacturer of crisis management software. "We have made real progress in removing the barriers that currently hinder data sharing in emergencies. The work our partners are doing will benefit everyone involved — from the government agencies that work to secure our nation against potential threats to first responders in the field and the people they assist," Walton added.
Recently the EIC and the Department of Homeland Security announced that they have signed a Memorandum of Agreement to promote the development and proliferation of data sharing standards for emergency response. The agreement established an alliance between the two organizations to jointly promote the design, development, release, and use of XML standards to help solve data sharing problems commonly encountered during emergency operations. The initial term of the agreement is three years.
Initial collaborative efforts between DHS and the EIC produced in 2004 the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP), the first data standard for sharing alert information between dissimilar systems. The next generation of data sharing standards, being developed with the leadership of emergency response organizations, is called Emergency Data Exchange Language (EDXL). It goes beyond alerting to address the routing and substance of a wide variety of interagency emergency messaging. The first of these, a common 'distributional element' for routing emergency messages, has been passed from the EIC with DHS concurrence to the OASIS formal standards development organization. The EIC encourages other companies to join in this mission of improving emergency communications through collaborative efforts.
The Emergency Interoperability Consortium (EIC) was launched in October 2002 to address the nation's lack of consistent technical interoperability and standards for emergency and incident management. Now comprised of over 25 organizations, the EIC promotes the development and adoption of standards for using Web services, Extensible Markup Language (XML), and existing exchange protocols that support the timely and accurate exchange of incident information throughout the emergency response communities.
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