Pittsburgh — Michael Baker International announced in conjunction with the National Alliance for Public Safety GIS (NAPSG) Foundation, a contract with the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate to develop national guidelines and a cutting-edge solution that provides first responders with real-time information prior to and during emergencies.

Michael Baker and NAPSG Foundation’s cutting-edge emergency response guidelines and solution will address the need for timely, reliable, and accessible sources of preparedness and operational information that local decision makers can rely upon during flooding events. In many recent flooding incidents, the lack of accurate and reliable information contributed to inefficient emergency response during deadly flash floods, dam failures and traffic gridlock. During these scenarios, public safety officials faced the challenge of turning data into actionable information for first responders to improve their ability to aid those in need.

“Michael Baker International is excited to begin working on this innovative project with DHS and the NAPSG Foundation teams,” said Sandi Stroud, public safety national director at Michael Baker International. “We are motivated by the data structure that will be produced from advances in 9-1-1 technology and eager to explore how that is applied to sharing other core mission critical information. In the end, this data will help public safety stakeholders make better informed decisions in crisis situations.”

Michael Baker and the NAPSG Foundation will work directly with first responders in three test regions to identify insights on best practices for flood response. This will enable the development and release of a scalable and repeatable process for determining operational information needs, core data and attribution needed at the local level. Upon completion of the project, local emergency responders will have guidelines on how to access current, relevant and trusted critical operational information to drive informed decision making; on the other hand, technology providers will have guidelines for solution development and implementation.

“The project’s new approach for defining common operational information and support guidelines will serve as a solid foundation for technology innovations, such as NG9-1-1 and beyond, to build upon and achieve success in changing outcomes for survivors,” added Peter O’Rourke, Executive Director at National Alliance for Public Safety GIS (NAPSG) Foundation.

Michael Baker brings extensive expertise in improving ailing emergency response programs across the country. The company incorporates geographic information systems (GIS)-centric solutions into the NG9-1-1 call routing environment to aid public safety answering points (PSAPs) and their GIS stakeholders in the mission critical transition.

Michael Baker and NAPSG Foundation’s contract with DHS runs through June 2018 when the prototype solution will be launched in test markets.