Emergency Response Community Consolidates Efforts to Advance Communications Standards at OASIS

US Dept of Homeland Security, AtHoc, ESI Acquisition, KITS, Raytheon, Warning Systems, and Others Collaborate on Emergency Interoperability

Boston, MA, USA; 1 October 2007 — The international emergency response community has taken steps to consolidate efforts to advance a common set of standards for exchanging information on incident preparedness and response to emergency situations. Stakeholders in the industry have formed the OASIS Emergency Interoperability (EI) Member Section, a group that will address the full life-cycle of emergency communications standards from requirements capture to standard creation and adoption services.

"We're responding to the need clearly expressed by a wide variety of emergency response agencies and organizations to be able to share information across professional and jurisdictional lines--whatever specific application they may have in their office," explained David Lamensdorf, chair of the OASIS EI Member Section Steering Committee. "XML standards are crucial to solving data sharing problems that are commonly encountered during emergency operations."

"Since 2003, OASIS has been the nexus for emergency management standards. We've produced the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) and the Emergency Data Exchange Language (EDXL) OASIS Standards," said Patrick Gannon, president and CEO of OASIS. "The new Member Section will broaden our members' focus beyond specification development to advance and support adoption and interoperability issues."

The OASIS EI Member Section represents the wide variety of public and private sector organizations that share the common goal of interoperable emergency communications. Membership remains open; practitioners, technology providers, and national, international and multinational oversight agencies are all invited to participate in the initiative.

In addition to Lamensdorf, the OASIS EI Member Section Steering Committee includes Dr. Donald Ponikvar of Defense Group Inc. and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, David Aylward and Tracy Ryan of the Emergency Interoperability Consortium, and Elysa Jones of Warning Systems.

Jones, who also chairs the OASIS Emergency Management Technical Committee, looks forward to working within the new Member Section. "We're going to be addressing global interoperability issues and identifying areas where new standards are needed. We'll help national and local government agencies advocate for the use of emergency standards as a means to enable innovation, freedom of choice, and open access to information."

Robert Dilonardo, the Test and Evaluation Infrastructure Branch Chief and the Data Architect for the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO), a component of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, heartily endorses the establishment of this group. According to Dilonardo, "Data interoperability is a key requirement of the Global Nuclear Detection Architecture being developed by DNDO and its many federal, state and local partners. The Domestic Nuclear Detection Office already embraces standards that have come out of the OASIS Emergency Management Technical Committee, and our representation on the new Member Section's Steering Committee will provide a valuable means for our needs to be represented as these standards evolve."

Support for EI

"Responding to emergencies requires a collaborative communication effort between agencies and departments, and the OASIS EI Member Section is now making it possible for federal, state and local organizations to work better together. We've seen strong demand from our government and Department of Defense customers to find ways to make disparate emergency communication platforms work together, and this initiative will help remove the technological barriers to ensure full interoperability and information sharing," said Aviv Siegel, AtHoc's chief technology officer.

"KITS is pleased to be involved in this OASIS EI effort. Our experience integrating disparate Command & Control (C2) systems has impressed upon us the importance of establishing data standards, especially in cases where secure and reliable exchange of such information is mission critical. When appropriately leveraged, the integration of disparate C2 public safety systems becomes a facilitator of Emergency Management and Homeland Security effectiveness. Likewise, KITS looks forward to working with OASIS in the development of information standards for the Emergency Response community," said Randall V. Shane, President & CTO, KITS.

Additional information:

OASIS Emergency Interoperability Member Section:
http://www.oasis-emergency.org/

OASIS Emergency Management Technical Committee:
http://www.oasis-open.org/committees/emergency/

About OASIS:

OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards), drives the development, convergence, and adoption of open standards for the global information society. A not-for-profit consortium, OASIS advances standards for SOA, security, Web services, documents, e-commerce, government and law, localisation, supply chains, XML processing, and other areas of need identified by its members. OASIS open standards offer the potential to lower cost, stimulate innovation, grow global markets, and protect the right of free choice of technology. The consortium has more than 5,000 participants representing over 600 organizations and individual members in 100 countries. http://www.oasis-open.org

Press contact:
Carol Geyer
OASIS Director of Communications
carol.geyer@oasis-open.org
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