Siemens readies pandemic task force

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Monday, June 1, 2009

FLORHAM PARK, N.J.--Mass notifications systems purveyors reported more inquiries since the April outbreak of the so-called Swine Flu, and one manufacturer established a task force to look at how its mass notification system, Sygnal, can be used during a health crisis.

“The task force involves HR, marketing, myself from program management and product management,” said Peter Tately, program manager, mass notification, for Siemen’s Building Technologies.

The goal of the task force is to review how Siemen’s mass notification offering can help customers respond and communicate in a pandemic situation, as well as how to make the Sygnal system, or components of it, available to customers in an expedited way.

“The way we look at it is [that getting this system in place] is a way to avoid misinformation, to steer [people] to reliable sources of information, give them factual information and in some cases, localized information,” Tately said. If there’s a health care crisis in  a school campus environment, for example, specific information needs to go to faculty and administrators, another message would go to first responders and those who are responsible for cleaning or vacating a facility, “students who are there on campus need to know one thing and parents who are remote need to know another,” he explained.

The ultimate solution for mass notification needs to be a flexible and layered, incorporating a number of different technologies. However, for those who do not have any kind of system in place, Siemens is focusing on expediting the availability of its Web messaging system.