Saturday, May 29, 2004

Secretary Ridge's Remarks on the Council for Excellence in Government Report: "This Department is taking steps in the short term to fix the immediate communications problems that were dramatized at the Trade Center on 9/11. In the end, when we say 'interoperability' we are basically talking about a 'technology translator' -- the capability of first responders to communicate and understand each other regardless of technology, mode of communication, or frequency. Already, we have identified technical specifications for a baseline interoperable communications capability, so that first responders will have an interim way to talk to each other during a crisis. "
DHS - A Better Prepared America: A Year in Review: "The Department of Homeland Security is launching a new office for interoperability and compatibility that will coordinate communications interoperability, equipment and training compatibility between federal, state, and local governments. By coordinating and leveraging the vast efforts spread across the federal government, this office will reduce unnecessary duplication in programs and spending, and identify and promote best practices. "
Security budgets fail to keep pace with the increasing threat: "... In the House, Reps. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) and Jim Turner (D-Texas) have introduced a similar bill, the Connect First Responders Act. The proposal authorises $5 billion during the next five years to resolve telecommunications interoperability problems. The bill also creates a new office in DHS to focus solely on communications interoperability issues."

Friday, May 21, 2004

Nebraska Homeland Security Funding: "Nebraska Governor Mike Johanns has announced the distribution of $19-million to local communities as part of the 2004 Homeland Security grant allocations. The focus of this year's grants is on communications and improving local, regional and state interoperability."

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Dems back DHS wireless office: "House Democrats introduced a bill today that would establish a wireless communications office within the Homeland Security Department and a $5 billion grant program to help first responders become interoperable."

Sunday, May 16, 2004 Why emergency responders still can't communicate with each other (5/24/04): "More than two years after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, emergency response agencies around the nation still can't talk to each other in a crisis. New York is a case in point. The city's police and fire agencies still aren't communicating, even though their inability to work together on 9/11 contributed to the deaths of firefighters when the second tower of the World Trade Center collapsed."

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

County considers several radio options: "Though the switch is on for a state-operated public safety radio tower in Jackson (MI), county officials are not ready to fully connect, especially when mulling over upgrades to its own dispatch system. "

Sunday, May 09, 2004

DHS Deputy Secretary James Loy before the House Select Committee on Homeland Security, May 6, 2004: "The Directorate of Science and Technology (S&T) within DHS has been tasked to lead the planning and implementation of the Office of Interoperability and Compatibility (OIC) in coordination with other DHS programs. By coordinating and leveraging the vast efforts spread across the federal government, OIC will reduce unnecessary duplication in programs and spending, identify and promote best practices, and coordinate federal activities related to research and development, testing and evaluation, standards, technical assistance, training, and grant funding related to interoperability."

Friday, May 07, 2004

FCW - Homeland security with a regional flavor: "The Kansas City, Mo., Regional Homeland Security Coordinating Committee lives up to the regional part of its name. It covers two states, eight counties, more than 1.9 million people and even brings Washington, D.C., into the picture because critical parts of the federal infrastructure are housed there."
FCW - Firm resolve but no easy resolution: "Lawmakers and others are pressuring federal officials to address long-standing homeland security problems, from a lack of communications interoperability to mistaken admission of criminals into the country and inadequate federal agency plans to operate effectively after a catastrophic event. "

Saturday, May 01, 2004

Federal interagency radio pilot hits airwaves in Seattle: "The Integrated Wireless Network would be a common radio network capable of handling voice, data and multimedia for all federal law enforcement, first-response and homeland security agencies."