ComCARE aims to develop emergency directory

ComCARE Alliance

Officials at a not-for-profit consortium based in Washington, D.C., recently issued a request for proposals to develop a national electronic directory of public and private emergency response agency contact information.

Through a Justice Department grant, officials at the ComCARE Alliance, composed of more than 95 health, emergency, law enforcement, private and consumer organizations, plan to fund the development of the geographic information system-enabled Emergency Provider Access Directory (EPAD). Officials have already tested and demonstrated EPAD a number of times.

The directory could eventually contain emergency and administrative contact information for more than 100,000 agencies in the country. Such data could be transmitted quickly and securely to appropriate authorities in case of an emergency.

"The Department of Homeland Security has properly identified emergency data communications and interoperability as a priority, and laid out a strategy for it in the National Incident Management System," said Sue Hoyt, ComCARE chairwoman and former president of the Emergency Nurses Association. "You can't send emergency data without an agency directory. Surprisingly, a comprehensive one does not exist today."

The RFP is available for download at www.comcare.org/epadrfp. A bidders' conference will be held July 22, and RFP responses are due by Aug. 13. Further inquiries should be made to epad@comcare.org.

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