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The success and efficiency of managing an emergency situation (such as rescue operation, fire fighting etc.) depends on enabling a system that would ensure the timely availability of high-quality and latest information to the emergency Mobile Units (MU). The system must ensure the provisioning of relevant information in a secure manner irrespective of the location and/or mobility of the MU. The enabling of secure and ubiquitous communication services, while the MUs are on the move, becomes more of a challenge in heterogeneous network environments due to the fact that the present public cellular network infrastructure does not support IP based mobility management functions (MIPv6, mSCTP etc.) and moreover, the interoperability between different access technologies is not well defined. In view of these restrictions, we present in this paper a novel client-based secure handoff management solution that is self-sufficient, does not require and/or rely on any changes on part of the underlying network infrastructure and enables the use of standard web browsers as well. We will present the operational details of our proposed approach and also analyze its performance based on the real implementation over the public network infrastructure. The performance will also be analyzed with respect to the influence of security mechanism such as authentication and encryption on the performance of the vertical handover process and compare the results with the standard mobility solutions such as MIPv6/NEMO and mSCTP based on experimental test beds.