Emergency teams get new tech

Federal emergency workers in the field will get their own communications systems.

The Department of Health and Human Services is equipping vans of the Secretary's Emergency Response Teams with laptop computers and satellite communications, said KC Decker, a program analyst in the department's Office of the Assistant Secretary for Public Health Emergency Preparedness.

"The footprint they would take to the locale would be very small," Decker said, speaking at the GovSec conference in Washington. "It would basically have all the communications equipment you can carry."

The teams, which would be deployed in case of an emergency or terrorist attack, would be able to use the devices in their vans to communicate with department headquarters without interfering with other communications systems.

Decker said HHS' Response Technology Team is in the process of equipping these vans, and it is unclear when they will be operational.

The teams are centrally-based groups of experts from agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Food and Drug Administration. Each team has about eight to 10 members, Decker said, and can be deployed across the country within 24 to 48 hours of an incident. The concept is part of the Federal Response Plan.

Featured

  • Defense
    Ryan D. McCarthy being sworn in as Army Secretary Oct. 10, 2019. (Photo credit: Sgt. Dana Clarke/U.S. Army)

    Army wants to spend nearly $1B on cloud, data by 2025

    Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said lack of funding or a potential delay in the JEDI cloud bid "strikes to the heart of our concern."

  • Congress
    Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) at the Hack the Capitol conference Sept. 20, 2018

    Jim Langevin's view from the Hill

    As chairman of of the Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committe and a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rhode Island Democrat Jim Langevin is one of the most influential voices on cybersecurity in Congress.

Stay Connected

FCW INSIDER

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.