"This document discusses new approaches to emergency response information sharing. With this information, local and state executives, and other decision makers can then best determine if their locality, state, or region should adopt a similar approach, and if so, how to begin the process. [...] In an effort to make our Nation a safer place, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) encourages localities and states to embrace collaboration and information-sharing models. In 2009, DHS launched the Virtual USA (vUSA) initiative, which is helping to create a future where jurisdictions at all levels have the capabilities necessary to voluntarily share information with each other, as appropriate and authorized, regardless of the data format."
U.S. Department of Homeland Security: http://www.firstresponder.gov/