A Birmingham-area medical network that uses technology to identify emergency room availability was recognized during a ceremony at UAB today as the nation's most promising homeland security innovation.

Governor Bob Riley spoke at the ceremony where the Birmingham Regional Emergency Medical Services Systems (BREMSS) was awarded the Mitretek Innovations in Homeland Security. The award is the first major national award program of its kind created since 9/11 to recognize the most effective programs designed to address homeland security.

Dr. Gowher Rizvi, Director of the Ash Institute for Democratic Governance at Harvard University, and Dr. Lydia Thomas, President and CEO of Mitretek Systems, presented the award to Governor Riley.

"BREMSS is an important part of our comprehensive plan for homeland security, and I'm very proud that a program from Alabama is being recognized as a national leader," Governor Riley said. "This award signifies that BREMMS is a national model for how trauma and mass casualty victims can be routed to the closest emergency rooms that are equipped and ready to treat them immediately."

The Mitretek Innovations Award seeks to identify and highlight effective government and public-private solutions to the nation's homeland security concerns. The award is a collaboration between Mitretek Systems, a nonprofit organization specializing in the application of science and technology in the public interest, and the Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.