Tuesday, November 30, 2004



By Nan Lundeen

What was once a small, rural fire department on Greenville's Eastside has joined a small group of elite fire departments in the state.

Thirty-five years ago, the Boiling Springs Fire Department had one 1936 tanker truck, six volunteer firefighters and no Insurance Services Office rating, according to department spokesman Taft Matney.

Today, with 38 paid firefighters, 20 volunteers and a budget of $2.7 million, it joins Myrtle Beach and Charleston as the only three departments in South Carolina to have achieved a Class 1 rank by the ISO, the organization that ranks departments for insurance purposes.

The district set the goal to improve from a Class 2 to a Class 1 and worked hard for years to achieve it, according to Fire Chief Gerald Luker. However, the department's main concern in making improvements is public safety, according to Luker.

"We're one of the lucky ones," said Amelia Camarena, assistant manager of the Monterrey Mexican Restaurant on The Parkway.

Said Eastside resident Richard Manning, who moved here in July from Pennsylvania, "It's reassuring as a newcomer to the area."

Boiling Springs serves about 26,000 residents, four schools and numerous businesses, including Michelin North America.

Growth and reassessment have funded personnel, new equipment and the addition of a third fire station, Luker said.

"It's great for that community," said Bruce White, spokesman for State Farm Insurance. "It means they really put an emphasis on safety."

The ISO considers numerous rating criteria including receiving and handling alarms, training, number of personnel, equipment and water supply.

Because the district was already rated Class 2, which is a high rating, White expects the improvement might help control the cost of insurance in the future based on claims history, but he doesn't expect much difference in premiums now.

"Insurance rates are based on past claims experiences to predict what the future cost of the insurance policy needs to be," White said.

The industry bases premium rates on claims history over 10 years or more, he said.

Average response time for the department, which took 1,357 calls during the past fiscal year is about 3 minutes, Luker said. He expects that number to improve next year because the district added a $750,000 station on Batesville Road last December, the numbers for which wouldn't be fully factored in yet because it hasn't been in operation long enough.

The chief said about 50 percent of calls are medical emergencies or vehicle accidents, about 45 percent are false alarms and only 5 percent are actual fires.

All paid personnel are trained in basic first aid, CPR and how to use an automatic defibrillator as first responders, he said.

The department would consider for the future an ISO recommendation to increase the number of operators receiving calls from 1.24 to 2 and would consider requiring them to be awake at all times rather than allowing them to sleep with a phone beside the bed, according to Luker.

He said that all calls are answered by the second ring, and the department has never received a complaint that a call went unanswered.

The department serves Buena Vista Elementary School, Riverside High School, Shannon Forest Christian School and Mt. Zion Christian School.

Nan Lundeen can be reached at 298-4316.



(November 29, 2004 / Greenville, SC) The Boiling Springs Fire District today announced that it is now among the nation’s top fire departments according to the Insurance Services Office (ISO®). ISO, the New Jersey-based organization that collects municipal fire-protection information in communities throughout the United States, helps establish appropriate fire insurance premiums for residential and commercial properties and awarded the Boiling Springs Fire District its highest ranking.

Using a scale of 1 (representing exemplary public protection) to 10 (indicating that the area's fire-suppression program does not meet ISO's minimum criteria), ISO awarded the Boiling Springs Fire District a Class 1 rating.

Among ISO’s extensive database of approximately 44,000 fire jurisdictions nationwide, Boiling Springs Fire District is now one of only forty-nine Class 1 departments in the country and three in South Carolina (joining the Myrtle Beach and the Charleston Fire Departments).

Gerald Luker, chief of Boiling Springs Fire Department said, "I am extremely proud of everyone in our organization. It takes a total team effort to earn a Class 1 rating, and we worked for a number of years to achieve this for the people we serve and protect.”

Considering items such as station locations, hydrant amounts and types, training, equipment, and pre-fire plans, ISO examines numerous criteria to determine each department’s rating.

According to public information posted on ISO’s web site, “By classifying communities' ability to suppress fires, ISO helps the communities evaluate their public fire-protection services. The program provides an objective, countrywide standard that helps fire departments in planning and budgeting for facilities, equipment, and training. And by securing lower fire insurance premiums for communities with better public protection, the PPC™ program provides incentives and rewards for communities that choose to improve their firefighting services.”

Cliatt Alewine, chairman of the Boiling Springs Fire District said, “Special Purpose Districts like Boiling Springs are the most local forms of government, and district commissioners understand what’s happening in local homes and businesses because these are the people we work with every day. With increasing property values throughout our district, it is important for us to help district residents as much as we can. That includes providing superior service while keeping down taxes.”

“We’ve added stations, equipment, and personnel – all while decreasing millage rates over the past twenty-four years. We’re proud to serve our county residents and want them to know that we are stewards of their trust,” he added.

Alewine also pointed to the district’s millage reduction from 30 mils in 1980 to 21.2 mils following Greenville County’s last property reassessment.

The Insurance Services Office [link] is based in Marlton, New Jersey and collects information for the insurance industry to help establish appropriate fire insurance premiums for residential and commercial properties as they relate to a community's fire-protection services. ISO provides that information through the Public Protection Classification (PPC™) program.

Established in 1968 and located on Greenville County’s Eastside, the Boiling Springs Fire district covers 15 square miles and serves over 26,000 residents. Governed by five commissioners recommended by county council and appointed by the governor, the Boiling Springs Fire District is a special purpose district responsible for addressing specific concerns and local issues among commercial and residential interests through 38 paid personnel and 20 volunteers operating out of 3 fire stations. The district’s equipment battery includes 8 fire engines, an aerial ladder truck, and a rescue vehicle. The Boiling Springs Fire District is South Carolina’s only ISO Class 1 fire department with a combination of paid and volunteer fire fighters.

To make inquiries regarding this release, please contact Taft Matney by phone (864/505-8866), by fax (864/297-3871), or by e-mail (taft@taftmatney.com).


ISO is a registered trademark of ISO Properties, Inc. PPC is a trademark of ISO Properties, Inc. Other brand names, product names, services, companies, events, and publications are or may be trademarks or registered trademarks of, and are used to identify, products or services of their respective owners in the U.S. and/or other countries.

This news release contains or may contain forward-looking statements that are subject to certain risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results or facts to differ materially from such statements for a variety of reasons including, but not limited to: industry conditions, changes in supply, pricing, and customer demand, competition, other industry vagaries, and changes in key supplier relationships. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date on which they are made. The company undertakes no obligation to update publicly or revise any forward-looking statements.

Thursday, November 11, 2004



Discussing federal retirement benefits for those of us in our 30s is roughly akin to my belief that I'll play on the PGA Tour next year. It may sound good, but it ain't gonna happen.

I remember when Mauldin High School sponsored a congressional candidate debate between then-Congresswoman Liz Patterson and current Greenville Mayor Knox White when I was a student in the 1980s. Taking questions from the teenage audience, it finally happened. The subject of Social Security reared its head. There I sat, coming face to face with the realization that my Social Security would be long gone by my "mature" years. That was a tough pill to swallow at the age of 13.

Why is privatizing Social Security a bad idea? It's not.

This ill-conceived, planned and mismanaged system was doomed to fail from the outset, and it will not exist much longer. I accept that.

I also know that government exists to provide services its citizens cannot best provide themselves. Managing my money should not be one of those services. I can make better financial decisions for myself and my family than some faceless government bureaucrat who doesn't even know I exist.

Privatize away, Mr. President!


Tuesday, November 09, 2004



Some airports are not waiting for federal government guidelines on biometrics. Instead, they are upgrading security systems to include the flexibility to incorporate new biometric technologies as they emerge. Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (operated by the Port of Seattle) provides an example of this forward-looking adaptability. Beginning with a newly established set of security requirements and relying on firms like Johnson Controls Inc. and Goddard Technology Corp., the Port of Seattle has laid the foundation for enhanced access control and badging integration — including future flexibility.

The first phase of Sea-Tac's security upgrade employed Goddard Technology's customized credentialing system to provide a badging system to serve nearly 79,000 people. The initial system tracked training, background investigations, among other items to ensure personnel met proper requirements to receive access to certain areas. The system allowed strict enforcement of local and federally mandated security policies, interfaced with access control systems, and prepared the Port of Seattle for its next access control upgrade.

“When our team first began customizing Sea-Tac's badging system we had several concepts we knew we had to include,” said Bill Donohue, president and CEO of Goddard Technology Corp. “We knew that after Sept. 11 and the creation of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), there would be new access control, data management and personnel credentialing requirements coming down the pipeline. Our efforts are aimed at increasing protective measures around sterile and Secure Identification Display Areas (SIDAs).”

Donohue said that Goddard's aviation solution is designed to be scalable and customizable so that it grows based on an end-user's needs, incorporates existing data from legacy systems and manages enhanced background checks and access controls for personnel with clearance for work in restricted areas.

“When we first decided to initiate our proactive approach to credentialing, data management, and access controls, we chose to implement a system capable of meeting future TSA requirements everyone knew were only a matter of months away,” says Arif Ghouse, Sea-Tac's director of airport security. “So, phase one of our system upgrade was a stepping stone.”

After completing the first upgrade, Sea-Tac decided to incorporate biometric components to its badging solution. Choosing which biometric elements to incorporate was a challenge.

“With advancing technologies, we had a broad range of choices and had to weigh our available options to find what fit best with our goals. That was our challenge,” Ghouse says. “Biometrics are still relatively new in terms of acceptable levels of matching performance. For each technology we examined, we compared false nonmatch rates, false match rates, and false rates of non-enrollment to test each product's and technology's accuracy.”

Donohue points to TSA's program to test various biometric components at a number of airports nationwide — often referred to as “The Twenty Airport Program.”

“Airports are observing the program, considering changes, and realizing that biometric technologies are more commercially available, more accepted in the industry, and the trend is moving in that direction,” Donohue says. He adds that airports' primary questions now deal with the types of biometrics and the points in time to implement them. “Right now the TSA is looking at the fingerprint and iris scanners as two technologies they're after while also examining facial recognition.”

Sea-Tac's original requirement was to have a smart card capable of containing up to two biometrics — something Keith Rhodes, chief technologist of applied research and methods for the U.S. General Accounting Office, recommended to the House Subcommittee on Aviation in May of this year — but the Port of Seattle was already installing it.

Ghouse says that Sea-Tac's updated security initiative was designed to prevent unauthorized personnel from obtaining facility access as a result of incorrect matches.

After deciding upon fingerprint recognition, Johnson Controls provided the badge readers, Sagem Morpho's front-end reader captured the biometric for identification verification, and Goddard brought a solution to capture and send the data to its repository.

The biometric enrollment process involves a computer analysis of a person's fingerprint to collect unique data points within the print, and takes only a few minutes. After completing enrollment, credential-issuing personnel can compare a template and fingerprint to generate a match when the print and card are presented. However, the process cannot go backward from the template to the fingerprint. “We can't generate a fingerprint off of a template,” Donohue says.

When designing the system, Goddard presented two data collection and management scenarios to Sea-Tac.

The first mode uses a smart card or 2-D bar code and offers a portable database that has the template securely contained within it at the local level, so that if the reader is disconnected from the network, the card could still be used. The second mode involves sending a card number and fingerprint information through the network to a central server to match with a template on file. Although the second option is less expensive, it is less secure and more prone to failure because templates move across the network, and if the wire to the central repository becomes disconnected, the encoded biometrics will not function.

Says Donohue: “Since Sept. 11, everyone seems to be going the portable route because they want the biometrics to always work.”

He adds that there are also badging liability concerns to consider. “If the card can be stolen and used, it not only becomes a liability to the air or sea port, it also becomes a liability to the person carrying it. Cardholders are at risk if terrorists think they can take that card and use it, but if terrorists know that the card will not work without the biometric, they realize that there's no point to obtaining a card.”

One of Sea-Tac's proprietary projects was an IT self-protection measure that involved creating a master database and then informing security system vendors that their systems had to connect to that master database. “If one IT vendor leaves or a better product comes along, then it would be somewhat analogous to unplugging our current TV and plugging in a new one,” Ghouse says. “It wouldn't impact our other systems.”

Goddard's aviation solution with its biometric inclusion has been online at Sea-Tac since early 2004. So far, Sea-Tac is implementing fingerprint recognition, but with the accompanying smart cards, other types of biometrics can be added later. “If they want to add iris scans to the cards, they can do that without too much difficulty,” Donohue says. “Because of the off-line database mode where the biometric is stored in the card, we will revise our software to add that iris image capture, produce the template and program it in the card.”

Now, more than halfway through its upgrade process, Sea-Tac's fingerprint recognition system helps control personnel admittance and movement in SIDAs. The facility is replacing existing card readers with readers that recognize smart cards containing the embedded fingerprint templates.

Monday, November 01, 2004



(November 1, 2004 / Las Vegas, NV) Officials at Greenville, SC-based Goddard Technology Corporation, a leading provider of biometric, smart card, and secure credential solutions, today announced their selection by the Clark County Health District (CCHD), headquartered in Las Vegas, to provide a new infrastructure for health card issuance.

Clark County Health District issues approximately 155,000 health cards yearly and collects information using multiple systems. By selecting Goddard Technology Corporation, CCHD hopes to reduce the number of systems necessary to collect data and issue cards while also increasing the accuracy and efficiency of the card issuing process.

Clark County workers involved with jobs that include hair care, body piercing, food preparation and handling, adult group care, child care, massage and reflexology, as well as tattoo and permanent make-up are required to register with the CCHD and meet certain medical requirements prior to working in affected job fields. Health cards are workers’ proof of medical eligibility. People are prohibited from working in regulated fields without the cards.

Bill Donohue, Goddard's president and CEO said, "Clark County Health District’s selection of Goddard illustrates its commitment to partner with a technology firm most capable of furthering the district’s mission of protecting and promoting the health, environment, and well-being of Clark County’s residents and visitors.”

“While we are responsible for creating a custom solution to collect and store accurate health information for the cards’ production, more importantly this new system is designed to meet the district’s current needs, provide scalability for any of the district’s future changes, and improve customer service to those conducting business with the district.” He added that the system is also customizable for smaller health departments across the country – including those who do not issue the mandatory health cards like CCHD.

Donohue said his team understands how important universal access is to CCHD and its clients and that Goddard will implement the latest technologies and development tools to enable deployment of this secure web client solution. To assist the CCHD as it transitions from current multi-system data storage and card production methods, Goddard will aid the CCHD with data conversion, report generation, interfacing with the district’s other web applications, installation, and training.

“The Clark County Health District takes its responsibility and public trust seriously. It seeks a long-term partner to help fulfill its goal of providing essential services. Along with system integration and functionality, improved CCHD customer service is our key goal,” Donohue said.

With a testing period that will last for the remainder of this year, Goddard’s new system is expected to be on-line by the end of January.

Clark County Health District protects and promotes the health, the environment and the well being of Clark County, Nevada residents and visitors.

Headquartered in Greenville, South Carolina, Goddard Technology Corporation is a privately-held software company specializing in secure digital imaging and database management solutions for a variety of vertical industry segments.

In domestic and international markets, Goddard Technology Corporation's experience includes over 500 installed systems among its worldwide client base which includes public sector clients in areas such as aviation, education, military, government, healthcare, and tourism while also servicing private sector clients in financial and corporate industries.

Founded in 1986, Goddard Technology Corporation established and developed its market leadership though advancements in functions such as: Custom Application Development, Digital Image Acquisition, Storage, Retrieval, Secure Identification and Credentials, Biometrics Integration and Management, Smart Card Design and Integration, Database Design, Integration and Management, Systems Integration and Installation, and Web-based/Wireless Applications.

Goddard Technology Corporation is the industry leader in providing advanced custom applications and system integration services.

For additional information, visit Goddard Technology Corporation at [link].

For media inquiries regarding this release, please contact Taft Matney by phone (864/505-8866), by fax (864/297-3871), or by e-mail (taft@taftmatney.com).


Brand names, product names, services, companies, events, and publications are or may be trademarks or registered trademarks of, and are used to identify, products or services of their respective owners in the U.S. and/or other countries.

This news release contains or may contain forward-looking statements that are subject to certain risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results or facts to differ materially from such statements for a variety of reasons including, but not limited to: industry conditions, changes in supply, pricing, and customer demand, competition, other industry vagaries, and changes in key supplier relationships. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date on which they are made. The company undertakes no obligation to update publicly or revise any forward-looking statements.



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