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Subject: [announce] OASIS Members Form Emergency Management Technical Committee

OASIS Members Form Emergency Management Technical Committee

Consortium to Advance Incident Preparedness and Response

Boston, MA, USA; 10 February 2003 -- Members of the OASIS standards
consortium have announced plans to collaborate on the development of
XML-based standards for emergency management and incident preparedness
and response. The new OASIS Emergency Management Technical Committee
will define standards to enable vital information exchange between
local, state and federal agencies including law enforcement, medical
professionals, companies, and other responders to natural and man-made
disasters and emergency situations.

"The OASIS Emergency Management Technical Committee is an important step
in creating interoperability for the Responder Community. As an integral
part of the Disaster Management e-Gov Initiative, it is a true
partnership between industry and government. Most important, the effort
is being led by the emergency management industry," said Mark G.
Zimmerman, Program Manager, Disaster Management E-Gov Initiative, Office
of the CIO, U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). "The output
of this OASIS committee will be a critical component for the Federal
Enterprise Architecture as well as the Disaster Management e-Gov
Initiative. Developing these XML standards is in keeping with the spirit
and intent of the President's Management Agenda e-Gov effort of using
information tools to serve the citizen. It could not come at a more
critical time in our Nation's history."

The scope of the OASIS activity will include unified incident
identification, emergency GIS data accessibility and usage, notification
methods and messages, situational reporting, source tasking, asset and
resources management, monitoring and data acquisition systems, and
organizational coordination.

"Studies conducted under the Homeland Security Act agree that the need
for standards in this area is acute. Currently, emergency management is
being handled by disparate systems using proprietary architectures and
platforms that pose enormous technical challenges to coordinating
activities and sharing information," explained R. Allen Wyke of Blue292,
chair of the OASIS Emergency Management Technical Committee. "The
efforts at OASIS will allow greater interoperability and open
communication that ultimately will reduce both human and financial

The OASIS effort is supported by the EM-XML Consortium, a group
comprised of both industry and government to facilitate collaboration
among all parties responsible for preparing, responding, and recovering
from incidents and emergencies of any kind.

"There is a unanimity of positive response across industry and
government for the development of emergency management standards to
address the critical interoperability problems at the heart of homeland
security," said Matt Walton of E Team, chair of the EM-XML Consortium
Steering Committee. "This strong support not only validates the need for
creating standards, but also shows that XML is the right technology and
OASIS the appropriate place to solve these fundamental interoperability

Blue292, Boeing, E Team, IBM, MTG Management Consultants, National
Center for Crisis and Continuity Coordination (NC4), Oracle, Wells
Fargo, and other OASIS members will participate in the OASIS Emergency
Management Technical Committee.

"Any company that is developing software or hardware solutions for
risks, incidents, emergencies, or disasters should be represented in
this work," noted Scott McGrath, director of membership for OASIS. "The
standards developed by this committee will benefit both public agencies
and private organizations responsible for meeting safety and security
requirements for their communities, as well as the companies that
provide products and solutions to support these needs."

Participation in the OASIS Emergency Management Technical Committee
remains open to all organizations and individuals. OASIS will host an
open mail list for public comment, and completed work will be freely
available to the public without licensing or other fees. Information on
joining OASIS can be found on http://www.oasis-open.org/join.

Industry Support for the OASIS Emergency Management Technical Committee

"Blue292 has always believed in open architectures and products, with
the founding principle that value is not inherently in the technology,
but in how that technology can be applied. By supporting the OASIS
Emergency Management Technical Committee, we have taken a step in
removing the barriers that currently exist at emergency operation and
disaster recovery centers, so that we can focus on providing features,
tools, and products to help save lives," said Susan K. Acker, president,
CEO and co-founder of Blue292.

"When an emergency occurs, not only do the responding organizations need
interoperable voice communications, they need to share data as well.
This allows them to develop the common situational awareness that is the
critical success factor during emergency response activities," said
Kevin Minds, director, Boeing Mobile Broadband Solutions. "By the end of
this year, the OASIS Emergency Management Technical Committee will have
developed an industry standard that allows different emergency response
groups to share information across their various decision support
software platforms."

"The forming of the OASIS Emergency Management Technical Committee is a
significant step toward the creation of a comprehensive set of standards
that will accelerate emergency response time among public safety
organizations," said Steve Davis, CEO of MTG Management Consultants,
L.L.C. "MTG is proud to lend its experience and expertise in providing
specialized IT planning and business process review services to state
and local public safety organizations. We look forward to supporting
this valuable effort to advance incident preparedness."

"The challenges of homeland security require an unprecedented level of
communication and coordination, not only between government agencies at
all levels, but equally important, between government and business. The
absence of interoperable emergency management information systems
severely hinders our nation's ability to protect our critical
infrastructure," said
Jim Montagnino, Vice President and General Manager of NC4 (The National
Center for Crisis and Continuity Coordination). "The efforts of the
OASIS Emergency Management Technical Committee are vital to advancing
NC4's goal of enabling effective coordination between the public and
private sector before, during, and after crises."

"As XML has emerged as the premier method for data exchange, many large
commercial organizations have sought to leverage the technology for
their own unique information requirements," said David Robinson of Wells
Fargo. "Data exchange is especially relevant for those involved in
emergency and incident management systems because data will originate
from a variety of systems that do not inherently communicate with one
another. The OASIS Emergency Management Technical Committee will define
and develop an emergency/incident specific XML standard to enable data
exchange between public and private institutions on diverse platforms
and applications."

About OASIS (http://www.oasis-open.org)

OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information
Standards) is a not-for-profit, global consortium that drives the
development, convergence, and adoption of e-business standards. Members
themselves set the OASIS technical agenda, using a lightweight, open
process expressly designed to promote industry consensus and unite
disparate efforts. OASIS produces worldwide standards for security, Web
services, XML conformance, business transactions, electronic publishing,
topic maps and interoperability within and between marketplaces. Founded
in 1993, OASIS has more than 2,000 participants representing over 600
organizations and individual members in 100 countries.

For more information:

Carol Geyer
Director of Communications
OASIS (www.oasis-open.org)
+1.978.667.5115 x209

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