Edited Version of July 22, 1998 Transcript
EIIP Transcript of Special Chat Event

Technology Partnerships for Emergency Management
FEMA / Argonne National Laboratories (ANL)"

The following version of the transcript has been edited for easier reading and comprehension. Typos were corrected, date/time/names attributed by the software to each were deleted but content of discussion, questions, and responses are as stated by each participant. Answers from the presenter to questions by the audience are grouped beneath the appropriate question to facilitate meaning.


Amy Sebring: We are coming to you today Live! from the Third Annual "Technology Partnerships for Emergency Management Workshop and Exhibition" in Argonne, Illinois at the facilities of Argonne National Laboratories (ANL).

This Workshop was established to coordinate the exchange of expertise, ideas and free sources among FEMA, representatives from academia, technology vendors, national laboratories, and the international community to explore new ways of doing business and of reducing costs associated with the mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery of disasters.

One common element that can help reduce disaster costs is the innovative use of existing and new technologies. The conference cosponsors hope to demonstrate how partnerships will assist local, state and federal governments in identifying a broader approach for dealing with many natural and man-made emergencies.

Major sponsors include: FEMA, Technical Support Working Group (TSWG), National Security Council Interagency Working Group on Counterterrorism R&D, US Department of Energy, and Argonne National Laboratory. Several co-sponsors are also participating.

We will have a number of the participants with us this hour, and they will be logged in as ANL Participant. To start us off is our host, Argonne National Laboratory, represented by Ken Bertram, Group Leader, Emergency Systems Group Decision & Information Sciences Division. Welcome to EIIP, Ken.

Ken Bertram: Good morning from ANL. We have almost 400 participants at this year's

FEMA workshop.


Amy Sebring: Can you tell us a little about Argonne Labs?

Ken Bertram: We also have 13 co-sponsors and 17 exhibitors. Argonne National Laboratory just celebrated its 50th anniversary. Our emergency systems group has been helping FEMA and the Army in the evaluation of emergency plans and exercises for the last 17 years.


Amy Sebring: This is a very beautiful campus and a lovely facility for the conference. How long have you been working on setting it up?

Ken Bertram: We have been planning and coordinating with FEMA and TSWG in the development of this conference since early last October.


Amy Sebring: Any quick questions for Mr. Bertram?


Isabel McCurdy: Web Site?

Amy Sebring: Yes, we are putting it up. Just a moment..

Ken Bertram: <http://www.fema.dis.anl.gov> is the conference website.

The ANL home page is <http://www.anl.gov>

Amy Sebring: Thank you so much for taking the time out to be with us, Mr. Bertram.

Ken Bertram: Thank you.


Amy Sebring: Next, we will have Vernon Adler from FEMA Preparedness Directorate with a few words on behalf of the FEMA coordinator for the conference, Tom McQuillan, Division Chief, Partner Outreach Program, for Kay Goss, Executive Associate Director of the Preparedness Directorate. How are you enjoying the conference, Vernon?

Vernon Adler: This is a very successful conference and it's the fourth in an on-going series. Tom wanted you all to know that he is pleased to be here at the fourth annual technology transfer conference that is co-sponsored with FEMA by 15 organizations including our partners at several DOE National Labs.

We are here this week to support FEMA's Associate Director, Kay Goss, who said in her remarks to nearly 400 participants yesterday, "...address the fire and emergency management community's CHALLENGES NOT YET CONQUERED."


Amy Sebring: What is FEMA's purpose here this week?

Vernon Adler: We want to provide a forum whereby technology developers and users can find better ways to meet the needs of the public in disasters to reduce loss of life and property.


Amy Sebring: Can you tell us where next year's conference will be?

Chip Hines: Oak Ridge National Lab in Gatlinburg, TN.

Vernon Adler: Gatlinberg, Tennessee in mid-May of 99 with ORNL as the key host, and we hope to see you there.

Amy Sebring: Thanks Vernon. Next we have one of the conference’s major sponsors which is Michael Jakub the Director, Technical Programs, Office of the Coordinator...

Michael Jakub: for the Department of State's efforts in counterterrorism. Thanks for the opportunity to join you this week. We've been wanting to find a forum in which to bring information about the counterterrorism CT R&D Program to the attention of first responders. We think we have a real good method for developing dual use technologies; i.e., those that meet both counterterrorism and consequence management needs through the TSWG program. The TSWG conducts the National CTR&D Program involving 8 departments, 55 agencies, and a number of foreign governments. Some of the equipment we develop can be especially useful for those involved in consequence management.

We've enjoyed meeting with many first responders here, discerning their equipment and capability needs, and reinforcing our existing working relationships with the first responder community. I've already had some interest expressed in working with TSWG by some first responders. We'll be looking further into these ideas over the next month or so.

Amy Sebring: Thank you very much for joining us this morning. We also will have some of the exhibitors with us today. First, we will have the Government Emergency Telecommunications Service or GETS. We are very grateful to the GETS people because we are coming to you using their telephone lines and one of their computers. We have with us John O'Connor with the National Communication System to tell us a little about GETS. Welcome John.

John O'Connor: Welcome to the GETS exhibit participating in the Technology Partnerships for Emergency Management Workshop at Argonne Laboratories, Chicago, IL. The Government Emergency Telecommunications Service (GETS) supports national security and emergency preparedness (NS/EP) requirements for the use of public, defense, or Federal telephone networks by Government departments, agencies.

GETS is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. GETS uses three major types of networks: long-distance networks i.e., AT&T, MCI, and Sprint; local networks; and wireless carriers. GETS also interfaces with the Federal Telecommunications System (FTS2000), the Defense Switched Network (DSN), and the Diplomatic Telecommunications Service (DTS).

GETS is accessed through a universal access number using common telephone equipment such as a standard desk set, STU-III, facsimile, modem, or cellular phone. A prompt will direct the entry of a PIN and the destination telephone number.

GETS traffic receives priority treatment over normal traffic through controls such as trunk queuing, trunk subgrouping, or trunk reservation. GETS calls are exempted from restrictive network management controls that are used to reduce network congestion.

GETS is available to Federal, State and Local emergency managers. How do you

become a subscriber? Contact your organization's GETS Point of Contact or the GETS Program Management Office (703) 607-4800 for further information. Additional information can be found at <http://www.ncs.gov>.


Amy Sebring: Do we have any questions from our audience for John? Yes, Gilbert.


Gil Gibbs: I couldn't help but wonder if the authorized persons needing the GETS system can preempt any public user as is done in the military systems?

John O'Connor: Users cannot preempt any public users. GETS will however, allow a valid user to jump to the top of the queue to grab the next available circuit.

Amy Sebring: Thank you very much John and especially thank you for the help you have given us in getting connected this morning!

Gil Gibbs: Thank you.


Amy Sebring: Next we have another exhibitor. Mark Fuerst of Carley Corporation. Welcome, Mark. What are you exhibiting, Mark?

Mark Fuerst: Hello. Good Morning. We are exhibiting a CBT package we developed for FEMA that teaches decision-making skills to public officials during a HAZMAT incident. CBT is computer-based training.


Amy Sebring: I have picked up a free CD-ROM this morning. How is this training distributed?

Mark Fuerst: FEMA is distributing it through their channels, but we are also giving away free copies at this conference.


Amy Sebring: Would some of these same decision-making skills be appropriate in other types of disasters?

Mark Fuerst: Absolutely! The disks are developed to train the decision-making process for any scenario. We just happened to create our own city and standard operating procedures to deal with a train derailment.


Amy Sebring: This training is aimed for whom?

Mark Fuerst: It's aimed at public officials, specifically the Fire Chief, Police Chief, Mayor, EMS Coordinator, Emergency Manager, and Public Works Director.


Amy Sebring: Darryl, was your question for GETS?


Darryl E Parker TFT: No, it wasn't. Kay Goss has been very involved in CSEPP. What is the status of alert receivers in Pueblo, Anniston, and Umatilla?

Amy Sebring: Nobody online to address that right now, Darryl. Will get with you later to try to find an answer.

Darryl E Parker TFT: OK, please let Ken know that I'm sorry we could not attend this year. The next one looks interesting though.


Amy Sebring: Do we have any audience questions for Mark? Ann.


Ann Willis: Is it possible to get a copy of the CD?

Mark Fuerst: You can get copies of all the CDs by contacting us at Carley Corporation in Orlando, Florida. <[email protected]>

Amy Sebring: Isabel.


Isabel McCurdy: Applicable in other countries, like Canada?

Mark Fuerst: Absolutely. The code is adaptable to any city, anywhere. If you want to have us custom tailor the package to Toronto, for example, we can do it.

Amy Sebring: Thank you so much Mark, and we will be following up with you for a Virtual Classroom session in the future, we hope.

Mark Fuerst: Thank you very much. Have a good day all.

Amy Sebring: We are welcoming back Essential Technologies, Merrily Powell. Merrily joined us in our very first Live! session, from the SALEMDUG conference. Welcome back, Merrily.

Merrily Powell: Hi to all.


Amy Sebring: Merrily, at SALEMDUG you rolled out the NBC software. How is that doing?

Merrily Powell: Just great! We have software that helps manage crises. This integrates maps, model, data and communications. This allows people to share important info and get good visuals at the same time as sharing that info with others.


Amy Sebring: Any new developments since April?

Merrily Powell: Yes. We have our Security SuperTab, which can be part of EIS/GEM, our crisis management software. Also, an explosion modeling program called Blast!. This allows people like me, just regular non-scientist people, to do vulnerability assessments on bombs. NBC Warning is a plotting program for nuclear, biological & chemical agents as well. That was a mouthful.

Amy Sebring: Great. That sounds interesting. Give us your web page, please.

Merrily Powell: Web site is <www.essentech.com> My email address is

<[email protected]> We also are doing a lot with the Partnership for Peace program.

Amy Sebring: Thank you very much.

Final Question:

Amy Sebring: I will be giving an EIIP presentation later this afternoon here at the conference. Then after that, I hope to get to relax and enjoy the rest of the conference! Well, that is about our time for today. Avagene, will you tell us about upcoming events, please?

Avagene Moore: Tomorrow night, join us at 8 PM EDT for the Mutual Aid session, informal chat. Next week, Tuesday July 28, 1 PM EDT, Peter Ward will be in the Round Table to talk about GDIN. Next Wednesday, we have an ERLink presentation in the Tech Arena, July 29, 12 Noon EDT. All promise to be very exciting and informative. Be there!