Probaris in conjunction with Verizon Business participated in a disaster response demonstration last week in conjunction with the City of Tampa, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the National Football League (NFL). The demonstration is part of a series of on-going DHS demonstrations that are intended to improve the crisis readiness posture of government agencies, private sector organizations, and emergency response officials (EROs). The objective of this week's demonstration was to show the ability to rapidly and electronically validate the identity of EROs and to immediately issue secure identity credentials for use during the simulated disaster. Probaris ID was used in the demonstration to issue just-in-time credentials to EROs.
Probaris has equipped Verizon Business mobile command center with its Probaris ID suite of identity products enabling travel to special events and disaster sites to issue Federal Information Process Standard (FIPS) 201-interoperable credentials. Probaris conducted the registration, enrollment and issuance of the highly secure identity credentials during this demonstration. The demonstration builds on Probaris' successful issuance of credentials at several DHS demonstrations in the Washington, DC metro and other areas to show the use of the credentials in multiple emergency response scenarios.
A recent report by the Committee on Homeland Security, titled "Public Health, Safety, and Security for Mass Gatherings," examines the homeland security challenges for large events. The committee is chaired by Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS). The report details 30 recommendations regarding the responsibilities of Federal, State, and local governments, as well as the private sector, in the event of an act of terrorism or disaster during a mass gathering. The report specifically mentions the Super Bowl as a "mass gathering event" of concern.
The report is available at http://homeland.house.gov/SiteDocuments/20080513105623-98169.pdf.
One of the two scenarios during this week's demonstration in Tampa, FL was controlling the ingress and egress of spectators during the Super Bowl. NFL officials were enrolled and issued real-time credentials using Probaris ID. Their credentials were electronically validated using handheld devices before they were granted access to the event. This process demonstrated the ability to not only validate people's identity, but also to control ingress and egress to a site (e.g., re-entry following a hurricane). This process also allows for tracking personnel and the time that they spend at an incident scene. This information can be vital, for instance, after an event in the case of EROs being exposed to hazardous materials, so they can be contacted immediately and treated.
Charles Durkin, Chief Operating Officer of Probaris, states, "Our partner, Verizon Business has chosen Probaris ID, as their credentialing system of choice for it's ease of use, flexibility and scalability. This demonstration illustrates the power of Probaris ID to address the multiple uses of smart cards across the enterprise -- whether as a real-time credential at a disaster site or as a single smart credential used for logical and physical access for the enterprise. We believe our solution directly addresses concerns raised by Rep. Thompson and that Probaris and the industry are ready to meet the important need at 'mass gatherings' he highlights."