TSA saves money by sharing mass-alert system with Coast Guard (with related video)
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has found a cost-effective way to build an emergency mass-notification system (EMNS) for its 50,000 personnel: It’s buying into the U.S. Coast Guard’s existing EMNS.
Under the deal, the TSA will tap into the Coast Guard’s AtHoc IWSAlerts software-based alert system, which has been operational for the past two years. The IWSAlerts system allows a range of mass notifications to be issued from one central control point over IP, with the ability to reach an entire agency/company work force through a variety of devices in real-time.
Essentially, the TSA and US Coast Guard will be running on the same EMNS, said AtHoc President and CEO Guy Miasnik. The shared EMNS will run on a “private cloud,” which is “an internally hosted service that will be provisioned to every TSA and USCG entity,” he said. Collectively, the TSA and USCG have purchased 100,000 licenses to the IWSAlerts system, which conforms to DHS security guidelines. The shared EMNS will be hosted by the Coast Guard’s data center.
In related news, the USAF’s Air Mobility Command (AMC) is deploying IWSAlerts at eight of its bases nationwide. AMC officials selected the system in part as a response to the tragic shootings at Fort Hood, Texas. The bases installing the AtHoc EMNS are Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey; Dover AFB, Delaware; Scott AFB, Illinois; Fairchild AFB, Washington; Grand Forks AFB, North Dakota; Little Rock AFB, Arkansas; McConnell AFB, Kansas; and Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.
The USAF AMC contract brings the total number of USAF bases using the IWSAlerts EMNS product to 120. “It marks a point where 90 percent-plus of USAF facilities are using AtHoc technology for mass notification,” Miasnik said.