‘Winter Storm’ tests first responder credentials
The Department of Homeland Security Office of National Capital Region Coordination (DHS ONCRC) and the Department of Defense Pentagon Force Protection Agency (DoD PFPA) joined public and private sector participants Feb.15 in a demonstration to validate the functionality of the First Responder Authentication Credential (FRAC).
The demonstration, known as Winter Storm, was a multi-jurisdictional test to verify the integration and interoperability of credential system attributes such as qualifications, authorizations, certifications and privileges.
“Winter Storm provided further validation of the technological advancements that will enable the nation to meet the goal of developing a unified credentialing system for first responders,” says Thomas Lockwood, director of the ONCRC. “Such advancements will ensure that emergency personnel are better equipped to respond to incidents across the nation in an expedited fashion.”
More than 50 organizations, representing more than 20 locations across the United States — including the National Capital Region — actively participated in Winter Storm. Participants and observers viewed details on a commercially available mapping program that gave local, regional, and nationwide emergency operation centers real-time situational awareness of first responders.
Winter Storm is a follow-on event to Winter Fox, a multi-jurisdictional demonstration co-hosted by DHS ONCRC and DoD PFPA in February 2006 that tested the interoperability and usability of the credential system through simulated emergency incidents at federal, state and local facilities. Both demonstrations are part of the DHS’ First Responder Partnership Initiative that is working to provide federal and non-federal first responders with a standardized identity management process and common credential that will enable access to government buildings and incident areas in the event of a terrorist attack or other all-hazards events.