By Rex Brooks

The Emergency Services Operational Pattern describes the prescriptive operational pattern for a set of discrete but interrelated communications services based on the Emergency Data Exchange Language (EDXL) suite of standards. These data-interoperability standards have been developed by the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) Emergency Management Technical Committee (EMTC). This set of standards prescribes messages for the range of emergency communications, from initial alerts and warnings to decision-supporting situation reports, including detailed message exchange patterns for handling resource management.

The operational core is the EDXL Distribution Element (EDXL-DE) v1.0, which handles the distribution of emergency messages, providing for audit trails, updates, cancellations, requests, responses and reports, allowing an Incident Command System (ICS) to redistribute message traffic internally without the need for examining the payloads. This can save time and increase effectiveness for the agencies and jurisdictions that take advantage of these features. Version 2.0 is in progress.

We highlight EDXL-DE because it points to the combined benefit of the EDXL suite, namely effectiveness for the response community as well as the communities served and the general public. Thus, this Net-Centric Pattern is aimed at all of these emergency services stakeholders.

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