Emergency Notification Systems
This section of our technical library presents articles written about Emergency Alert Systems and Disaster Recovery definitions, terms and related information.
The 911Broadcast emergency notification and alert service can deliver a large number of phone calls using a network of phone systems employing digital phone lines simultaneously. Should a disaster such as a snow storm, wild fire or flood hit your area, 911Broadcast systems can alert your community quickly providing specific instructions if an evacuation is required.
This service is available using our emergency broadcasting systems. If a dangerous chemical spill occurs in your community, you can target specific areas to call. If a severe snow storm hits your area, your community can be notified of school closings or event cancellations.
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Establishing Standards In Emergency Services
The following is information extracted from an article by Diane Frank "First responders seek common lingo", www.fcw.com and relates to efforts to establish standards for emergency communications and first responders.
Frank stated "A national effort to ensure that first responders can exchange information among any systems is picking up steam as community officials renew their efforts to overcome traditional barriers to sharing information.
Interoperability is a hot topic in homeland security discussions, where it affects voice and data communications among first responders. Although many groups, including the criminal justice, transportation and medical communities, have solved some internal interoperability problems, often the transportation community's solutions are not interoperable with those of the medical community.
Recognizing the problem, officials in the Homeland Security Department's Disaster Management e-Government Initiative Office are working with members of the Emergency Interoperability Consortium to develop an interoperability language known as Emergency Data Exchange Language (EDXL). The consortium is made up of federal, state and local agency officials and information technology industry leaders.
The members' goal is to have first responders use EDXL, an Extensible Markup Language standard. Systems that can handle XML will be able to handle the metadata specific to a first responder community, standards experts say. Most systems will be able to use EDXL as system development progresses.
Data interoperability is crucial for nationwide emergency response systems. DHS' National Incident Management System (NIMS), for example, is needed for information sharing, said Frank Cilluffo, director of the Homeland Security Policy Institute at George Washington University.
The future effectiveness of NIMS depends on common federal, state and local policies and practices that must be in place by the end of 2007, Cilluffo said.
"The ability to communicate, the ability to make sure that the data is interoperable, will be absolutely crucial to these efforts," he said.
Experts at all levels of government have been talking about achieving interoperability, but true interoperability has been attained only in small, regional efforts. EDXL, standards experts say, should allow emergency response officials to share information more broadly.
Besides NIMS, other interoperability systems and initiatives, such as the National Capitol Region's Capital Wireless Integrated Network, could use EDXL to communicate with other systems.
But EDXL alone will not fully solve the interoperability problem, public safety experts say. Policy issues also must be considered, including providing systems to cash-strapped communities and identifying the type of information to be shared. Deciding who will have access to what information will be a continual matter of debate, said John Markey, director of the Office of Emergency Management Fire and Rescue Service Division in Frederick County, Md.
The EDXL standard itself is the next step in the evolution of the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP), an open standard for exchanging hazard warnings and reports. That protocol has already been tested and certified as an international standard by the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards, a nonprofit, global consortium that is developing e-business standards.
CAP is in place and in use, and the XML schema will enhance its technical capability so that better policy decisions can be made, said public officials familiar with the protocol. With XML "headers" and "wrappers," emergency response data can be freely exchanged among systems and applications, said Jack Potter, director of emergency services at Winchester Medical Center in Virginia.
With EDXL, he said, "any given jurisdiction or agency picks the [application] that works best for them."
Emergency Dispatch Phone Services
If an emergency should arise in your community, our automatic phone message dispatch service can contact your emergency response team by delivering calls in a fast and efficient manner.
In the event of a natural disaster such as a wildfire or catastrophic flood, you can immediately call your disaster recovery teams and give specific details and instructions. If an evacuation is required this emergency broadcast system can deliver the available routes.
If a dangerous chemical spill occurs in your community, you can contact specific response teams and hospital personnel with vital information. In the event of a severe snow storm, your community services groups can be alerted to school closings or event cancellations.
Our emergency dispatch service can also be used for corporate or community group emergency notification. Critical system failures or events triggered by sensors can automatically initiate an emergency dispatch response. Using XML push techniques, our emergency dialers can be programmed to contact response teams or members in minutes of an event.
Our service is capable of leaving messages for both individuals and answering machines. We can also re-dial numbers when there is no answer or a busy signal. A "press through" feature lets your emergency response team member confirm the receipt of the call, leave a voice mail message, or even transfer to one of your other response team members.
All of this is possible using technology brought to you by Database Systems Corp.
We provide both emergency dispatch service as well as Emergency Warning Systems.
Contact DSC for a FREE analysis and quote and to learn more about our emergency dispatch phone services.