Enhanced warning system for first responders
- By Kathleen Hickey
- Jan 12, 2009
First responders will be able to receive alerts about emergencies or disasters via text message, cell phone or other personal communication devices thanks to combined technology through partnership between Global Security Systems and Northrop Grumman Corp.’s Mission Systems sector.
The partnership integrates message distribution systems and enables emergency managers to warn the public through mobile and consumer electronics devices over national, state and local alert and warning systems. Additionally, the collaboration addresses Homeland Security Department requirements to deploy an Integrated Public Alert and Warning System.
The GSSNet AlertFM system uses an FM chip that can be inserted into many common consumer devices to enable them to receive weather, homeland security, and local alerts including traffic emergencies and Amber alerts. The system is currently installed in hundreds of FM stations in over 10 states across the Midwest and Southeastern parts of the United States. The devices currently receive content from broadcasting partners, as well as state and local agencies to ensure distribution of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency content. Northrop Grumman currently manages the emergency information technology infrastructure in 80 U.S. cities, many of whom actively test systems under the Urban Area Security Initiative.
The combined systems will enable the president, state and local officials, and emergency management agencies to communicate with first responders as well as citizens in the event of a war, natural disaster, national, regional or local emergency.
Kathleen Hickey is a freelance writer for GCN.