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First Responder Authentication Credentials

The Office of National Capital Region Coordination is coordinating a major initiative to develop a smart identity credentialing system for emergency response officials (EROs). These smart credentials would allow EROs from across the region the ability to quickly and easily access government buildings and reservations in the event of a terrorist attack or other disaster. The initiative is designed to remedy access problems such as those encountered by state and local EROs to the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon.

Local and state emergency response officials must be able to collaborate to ensure the public's safety. However, for this to happen, many identity management challenges must be overcome. While federal agencies are rapidly deploying secure common identification standards based on guidance from the White House and other federal entities, state and local emergency response officials are working to establish a Personal Identity Verification-Interoperable (PIV-I) / First Responder Authentication Credential (FRAC) standard that is interoperable between local, state, and federal levels. More on the PIV-I/FRAC Technology Transition Working Group.

WFID also validated the capability to use the FIPS 201 architecture to electronically validate National Incident Management System or National Infrastructure Protection Plan personnel qualification information for incident management of human resource assets.  For example, incident commanders requiring a certain emergency support function or sector qualification could readily determine if anyone at the scene met the requirement.  

In addition, use of the FRACs assisted incident commanders in preparing After Action Reports and assessments by enabling them to electronically reconstruct time and attendance of each individual within the incident area upon entry and departure.  These reports were electronically transmitted real-time via satellite communications to national, state, and local emergency operations centers to include Northern Command Headquarters (NORTHCOM) in Colorado, Pentagon Emergency Operations Center, NORTHCOM NCR Joint Operations Center, and Maryland Emergency Management Agency.

Use of the FRAC will become a performance measure in future NCR exercises, with the goal of full implementation and integration by emergency officials throughout the National Capital Region to identify responding to incidents at federal, state, local, and private sector facilities.  

Last Updated: 12/21/2022
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