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September Virtual Town Hall Recap

​On September 23, NIEM hosted a Virtual Town Hall. More than 130 community members joined us to hear presentations from a Best of NIEM 2013 winner and updates from representatives of the Emergency Management Domain, as well as to participate in the question and answer session.

Justin Stekervetz, NIEM Program Managing Director, kicked off the Virtual Town Hall by welcoming participants and inviting them to submit questions for the question and answer session, using either WebEx chat or Twitter. NIEM is on Twitter@NIEMConnects.

After Justin’s welcome, 2013 Best of NIEM winner Bill Hobgood from the City of Richmond presented on the Automated Secure Alarm Protocol (ASAP) Program. ASAP leverages NIEM to allow alarm companies to send direct messages to 9-1-1 Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs). ASAP has been incredibly successful, spreading across the United States—starting at the City of Richmond to Washington, DC, and even Houston, TX.

Before ASAP, when an alarm went off, the alarm company had to call the 9-1-1 PSAP. If the 9-1-1 PSAP operators were swamped, the alarm companies simply had to wait. Even worse, if the 9-1-1 PSAP operators misheard the alarm company, responders might be dispatched to the wrong address, potentially with tragic consequences. ASAP allows alarm companies to send direct messages, including all relevant dispatch information, improving accuracy and reducing emergency response processing time by critical minutes.

 Bill showed the capability of ASAP in action—with the City of Richmond Computer Aided Dispatch on his computer screen and a representative from Vector Security on the phone, Bill walked the audience through a real-time interaction between an alarm company and a 9-1-1 PSAP, demonstrating just how quickly ASAP works.

After Bill’s presentation and live demonstration, Justin took back the microphone. He reminded the audience about the upcoming 2014 Best of NIEM awards and encouraged Virtual Town Hall participants to submit their nominations.

Then, Justin passed the baton over to Chase Garwood and Kamran Atri, representatives of the NIEM Emergency Management Domain. Chase and Kamran presented their work to revitalize the Emergency Management Domain. They have worked to engage the community, seeking engagement at all levels of government. In addition, they’re working to update the Emergency Management model content, to ensure that it’s as useful for the community as possible. Their plans don’t stop there—they’re working to create a toolbox that allows non-IT executives and program managers to bring NIEM to the community.

The Virtual Town Hall wrapped up with a question and answer session that allowed attendees to engage with the presenters.

Did you miss the Virtual Town Hall? Watch the video, download the PDF presentation, and download the transcript here!

Virtual Town Halls are hosted semi-annually to provide an opportunity for our communities to discuss how they use NIEM and how it’s advancing their missions.  Thanks to Bill, Chase, and Kamran for sharing their success stories with the NIEM community!