UNH And Keene State Share
$2 Million In Federal Funds
For National Public Safety Management Project
Will Aid Police and Fire Departments Responding to Emergencies
Contact: Lori Wright
UNH Media Relations
Keene State College Relations
Oct. 6, 2004
DURHAM and KEENE, N.H. – The University of New Hampshire and
Keene State College have received $2 million in joint federal funds
from the U.S. Department of Justice to develop a national public
safety management system that will help police and fire personnel
know whether the site of an emergency contains dangerous hazardous
The federal funding was secured by U.S. Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.).
“Police officers and security personnel typically are the
first to arrive on the scene of an emergency and often conduct the
initial site evaluation to support the larger emergency response.
This responsibility places law enforcement personnel at significant
risk of exposure to hazardous materials,” Gregg said.
“Information about the location of chemical, biological and
radiological materials, and the potential for exposure to these
materials is critical for the safety of first responders. Yet this
information is frequently unavailable or, at best, limited in its
scope,” he said. “This public safety management system
will provided police officers and other first responders access
to up-to-the-minute information that will guide their decisions
about evacuation needs, best response options, and the alerting
hospital and health personnel.”
The collaborative project between the UNH Research Computing Center
and the Keene State College Safety Studies Program will include
state-of-the-art facilities and instructional technology, and novel
“This project builds on UNH’s innovative Chemical Environmental
Management System (UNHCEMS) – already recognized as a model
for higher education—and brings together the advanced computing
expertise of UNH, and the technology and training know how of Keene
State College,” Gregg said.
Of the $2 million, UNH will receive $600,000 to modify and expand
the UNHCEMS software for the new system. The software will allow
first responders to access information about hazards stored at sites
of potential disasters, such as high schools and universities.
“This funding provides us the opportunity to share with other
educational institutions software to manage their chemical, biological,
and radioactive inventories. In addition to benefiting participating
institutions, there is a corresponding gain to public safety officials
allowing them to be better informed of potential hazards while responding
to emergencies,” Patrick Messer, associate director of the
UNH Research Computing Center.
Keene State will receive $1.4 million to develop the curricula and
training program, as well as outfit six technology laboratories
and five classrooms in its new Science Center. The facility, which
will include distance-learning capabilities, will be used to instruct
emergency personnel on evaluating and handling contamination sites.
“This funding allows Keene State to expand current and develop
new curricula in safety studies,” said Melinda Treadwell,
assistant professor of technology, design and safety studies. “It
creates innovative opportunities for the School of Science and Social
Science and the School of Professional and Graduate Studies to collaborate
and utilize state-of-the-art distance learning facilities and analytical
equipment to advance training and education for emergency response
professionals dealing with chemical, biological, and radiological
Four pilot sites in New Hampshire will be used during the development
and testing phases, which is expected to last 12 to 18 months. The
system is expected to be online and available nationally within
For more information on the UNH portion of the project, please contact
Patrick Messer, associate director of the UNH Research Computing
Center, at 603-862-2889 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on the Keene State College portion of the project,
please contact Melinda Treadwell, assistant professor of technology
design and safety, at 603-358-2945 or email@example.com.
Editors: Additional information about each portion of the project
State College Background