Never Again

“Station 71, you’re responding to a multi-car, motor vehicle accident.” He silenced his pager and slipped out the back door of the engineering firm where he worked.

“71-A?”

“71-A en route,” he replied, knowing that he could be putting his “real” job on the line.

It was 1993, and Dan Krantz’ strongest commitment was to his local emergency medical service as its commanding officer. A young civil engineer out of Rutgers, he was pursuing a career in construction management. Working as an EMT and firefighter was the most rewarding work he had ever performed, and remains so. Later married, and blessed with their first child, Krantz began wondering if his dedication to public safety was conflicting with his responsibility as husband and father.

Today, Krantz is CEO of Real-Time Technology Group (RTTG), a provider of identity management technologies for secure operations and incident response. Proud of its 100 percent U.S.-based operations, the company serves state and local agencies and private security directors nationwide. RTTG’s evolution is about a small group of people who devote themselves to solving national security challenges.

Painful Lessons

It was 1999, and the world was enamored with online shopping. Krantz, however, envisioned a different purpose for the Internet. He recognized the ability to unite the efforts of disconnected organizations, proactively monitor shared intelligence and automate communications to accelerate business process in a strictly-controlled, permission-based and audited environment. Aligned with proven technology developers, Krantz founded Real-Time Technology Group in September 1999, using the Internet’s infrastructure to support more effective critical information sharing among independent, otherwise disconnected, organizations.

After 9/11, safety and security professionals focused on some painful lessons. Emergency managers needed to improve the allocation of specialized responders and resources in times of crisis. Security directors hardened perimeters to better control access to sensitive facilities and public landmarks constantly busy with employees, contractors, vendors, volunteers and visitors.

“Suddenly,” Krantz said, “I realized the value of my background in process engineering and emergency operations.”

Passionately Committed

The RTTG team gained valuable experience developing and hosting complex, Web-based, process management technology solutions that would be a critical expertise in a Post-9/11 world. The team applied everything they’d learned: developing contact, lead and sales order management systems to what is now known as identity management. By the Fall of 2003, RTTG’s efforts and infrastructure were dedicated to the development and hosted management of practical, affordable Homeland Defense and Public Safety technologies.

By then, safety and security professionals were deeply committed to the ideal that failure couldn’t be an option. RTTG’s crucial realization was that effective solutions required cooperation by disparate groups of people: intelligence agencies; state and local law enforcement; emergency managers; training academies; facility owners; contracting companies; organized labor groups; and employment screening and other third-party service providers. Krantz once again involved with his true passion—public safety— and instilled that same passion in everyone who worked at RTTG.

“We all come to work knowing we contribute to our nation’s safety and security,” he said. “Our office features many reminders: 9/11 memoirs, the Flag of Honor, a picture of the WTC Memorial Lights and a treasured piece of steel from WTC given to us in appreciation of our charitable efforts on behalf of The Feal Good Foundation.”

Against All Odds

The World Trade Center site remains the world’s highest-value terrorist target. After 9/11, the inside threat posed by thousands of contracted workers at Port Authority of NY and NJ facilities demanded a much-improved vetting process. Thus began a fourand- a-half year RFI/RFP process—one that drew the nation’s largest, most resourceful defense contractors.

But Krantz, supported by his team who simply refused to fail, had committed all of RTTG’s resources to its new Real-Time Verification (RTV) technology, knowing that RTV would be the perfect solution.

Despite intense competition, this small, unknown team from Flemington, N.J. proved their value when they presented the port authority with a working system able to meet its evolving needs.

“We assembled a comprehensive package of technology and services that was hard to beat,” Krantz said. “Eventually, the team that Jim Campbell (late principal of Ambassador Medical Services, Inc.) and I brought together was awarded the project, and we co-founded our first trusted community, the Secure Worker Access Consortium (SWAC).”

Agents of Change

Awarded the SWAC contract was only the first of many battles that RTTG and its partners would fight in gaining the active participation of all groups within the capital construction ecosystem.

“We naively had a build-it-and-they-will-come attitude,” Krantz said. “Our business model was unique, and required the port authority to simply promote the program, not pay for it. We assumed each participating group would embrace the program and pay our annual membership fees in support of safety and security. We neglected to sufficiently consider the impact of our proposed solution on this diverse group of organizations and nearly bankrupted the program from the start.”

User adoption is key. There was tremendous pressure to demonstrate tangible value to the groups involved, all of whom needed to embrace a new cooperative effort that wasn’t administered by the port authority, required them to provide personal information and submit to background checks.

“We protect personally identifiable information (PII) rather than distribute it via faxes and photocopies. We’ve eliminated paper records, audit all access to our system and provide contractors all the tools they need to easily assure their compliance with security requirements. As permitted, everyone has real-time access to the same data.”

RTTG hit the road with its SWAC partners to engage their customers, holding user meetings at all the high-volume work sites to help them understand the benefits of participation.

“We’re leveraging expertise gained in critical infrastructure protection to benefit all kinds of facilities,” Krantz said. “We’re helping first responders assure the proper training and optimal allocation of specialized resources. I couldn’t be more proud of my team. It’s a privilege to work with them, and an honor to direct our collective energy toward the ultimate goal of ‘Never Again.’”

This article originally appeared in the December 2014 issue of Security Today.

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