Andy Vidan, Paul Breimyer, and Gregory G. Hogan’s development of the Next-Generation Incident Command System (NICS) is transforming emergency response efforts during disasters using advanced distributed information technology to increases response efficiency and effectiveness. While at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the trio worked closely with emergency management agencies to understand how technology could support traditional ICS systems that were often not interoperable. Their creation of NICS provides a common operational platform across organizations and command echelons at a national scale that enables collaborative sharing of real-time data. NICS incorporates a web-based infrastructure designed to integrate applications into toolsets that are simple to learn and use, allowing responders to focus on the task at hand. NICS enables virtual collaboration, integrated sensing, resource monitoring, and mobile applications to provide real-time situational awareness and reduce the need for face-to-face meetings.
Breimyer is director of software engineering with Audible Inc., an Amazon Company, Cambridge, MA, USA.