Editor’s note: RTP Beat is a regular feature on Thursdays.The third time might be a charm for Blue 292. In its third incarnation since its inception in 1997, the developer of crisis information management software said it has inked a deal to license its Blue Emergency Management (EM) for Homeland Security software system to Frederick County, Maryland.

Frederick County, which is home to Camp David, Fort Detrick and the Department of Homeland Security’s National Emergency Training Center, will use Blue292’s software to manage incidents and emergencies, from natural disasters to terrorist events. The software will also enable the county to share information easily with federal, state and local partners, using what’s known as Disaster Management Interoperability Services (DMI-Services). Twenty-nine fire stations in Frederick County will be tied into the system.

“DMI-Services uses JAVA and XML to create standards so the systems of these government agencies can speak better to each other,” says Kevin Coyne, executive vice president for Blue292. ” We’ve developed and integrated using DMIS so we can speak to [different software systems in different locations], if there’s an incident that’s happened and communication needs to happen.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Coyne says the contract validates the company’s development efforts using DMI-Services. “We’ve been in discussions with the Department of Homeland Security and they’ve expressed their excitement regarding what we’re doing.”

The government created DMI-Services following Sept. 11, when it realized that federal, state and local agencies and municipal organizations were not equipped to share data quickly for emergency and crisis management.

In the event of an incident, the Blue EM system automatically alerts key personnel, initiates response actions and dynamically tracks resources and recovery efforts.

The City of Carlsbad, New Mexico, has been using the Blue EM system for over a year and is currently being upgraded.

Coyne says a handful of new customers, both government and commercial, are in the pipeline, and that he expects to seal deals with a couple of banks in the next 30 to 60 days. “We’re well on target to achieve [break-even] before the end of the year.”

Blue292 was first founded five years ago as a business-to-business environmental services exchange. Soon after, investors grew skeptical of Internet exchanges, and Blue292 morphed into provider of software for tracking environmental issues. Although it still offers its environmental software products, it shut down its exchange three months ago.

A few weeks ago, Susan Acker resigned as chief executive officer. A replacement is not expected in the short term.

Blue292 has raised a total of $20 million in venture capital financing from Durham-based Eno River Capital and the Spout Group in New York.

Good and bad news

The bad first: The national job market isn’t likely to get better in the third quarter, according to Manpower’s quarterly Employment Outlook Survey.

The survey conducted by the staffing giant found that U.S. employers continue to be cautious in their hiring plans for the third quarter. Of the 16,000 U.S. employers surveyed, 20 percent said they plan to increase hiring activity in the July to September period, while 9 percent expect a decrease in job prospects. Meanwhile 65 percent of employers expect no change in hiring, and 6 percent are uncertain. When seasonal variations are taken into account, the employment drops to an outlook of a mere 6 percent – marking the weakest job forecast in more than 12 years.

The good news, however, is that the South fared the best of the four U.S. regions, reporting slightly more positive hiring prospects. Twenty percent expect an increase in employment in the third quarter, and 8 percent expect a decrease, resulting in a net employment outlook of 12 percent. In the Triangle specifically, employers are more optimistic about third-quarter hiring than they were for the second quarter. According to the survey, 17 percent of Raleigh employers plan to hire in the third quarter, while only 3 percent anticipate staff reductions. In Durham, the outlook is even brighter: 34 percent of employers plan to grow, while none plan to shrink.