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The catastrophes of September 11, 2001 put Arlington County's emergency response system to the test. They revealed capabilities and limitations otherwise overlooked during previous standard emergency response assessments. There were three key issues in the response to 9/11 that are recurring in jurisdictions across the nation: 1) reliance on voice-oriented communications; 2) limited situational awareness; and 3) lack of interoperability. A concept of operations integrating current commercially available technology in a system designed for the emergency response coordinator addresses these issues. To visualize this concept, a graphical user interface that displays the required functionalities described in the concept of operations is presented. High-ranking emergency response personnel from Arlington County, Virginia have conveyed that this solution is, indeed, feasible. The next step towards implementation includes exploring peer-to-peer networks in integrating the technologies described.
Date of Conference: 24-25 April 2003