RealNews

XML group to help first responders

A consortium of private- and public-sector organizations, university groups and nonprofit agencies are driving an initiative to create standards for using Extensible Markup Language to help first responders and others communicate and exchange information during emergencies. The group, known as the Emergency Management XML Consortium, expects to submit the first specification to the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) by year’s end. XML eases the exchange of information by tagging data so disparate applications and systems can recognize it. The lack of interoperable equipment has been a concern for many public safety officials for years, but consortium members said the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks — when New York City firefighters and police experienced major communications problems with devastating consequences — spurred them to act. Full Story

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