Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Lawmaker calls for quicker communications upgrades: "The head of a House panel on national security on Tuesday said federal and state officials are moving too slowly to ensure that 'first responders' to emergencies have communications systems that enable them to talk to each other.

In a new report on first responders, the Government Accountability Office concluded that the main barrier to resolving wireless interoperability 'has been the lack of effective, collaborative, interdisciplinary and intergovernmental cooperation and planning.' "

Friday, July 23, 2004

Bill Would Create Information-Sharing Office In Homeland Security Department : "Legislation to create an Office of Information Sharing within the Department of Homeland Security was introduced in the Senate on Wednesday. The bill, known as the Homeland Security Interagency and Interjurisdictional Information Sharing Act of 2004, is sponsored by Susan Collins, R.-Maine, and Joseph Lieberman, D.-Conn., the chair and ranking minority member of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, which oversees government IT policy. The legislation also contains provisions to aid first responders in financing interoperable communications equipment. "

Thursday, July 22, 2004

High-tech tool improves incident planning and response for homeland security: "An enhanced high-tech, collaborative mapping tool is helping law enforcement and emergency management officials better coordinate event and incident planning and real-time response."

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Safecom to assess public safety wireless communications: "Homeland Security Department officials expect to release a solicitation later this month related to a nationwide evaluation of public safety wireless communications."
Lawmaker calls for quicker communications upgrades: "The head of a House panel on national security on Tuesday said federal and state officials are moving too slowly to ensure that 'first responders' to emergencies have communications systems that enable them to talk to each other. "
Legislators charge DHS with public-safety interoperability coordination: "The Department of Homeland Security needs to step up and do a better job of coordinating public-safety interoperable communications, said Rep. Christopher Shays (R-Conn.), chairman of the House Government Reform national security subcommittee. "
Legislation Introduced to Help 1st Responders, Improve Communications: "Senate Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Susan Collins (R-ME) and Ranking Member Joe Lieberman (D-CT) today introduced the Homeland Security Interagency and Interjurisdictional Information Sharing Act, legislation to strengthen the nation's capabilities to prevent and respond to acts of terrorism. "
First-responder communications vulnerable: "(UPI) -- The terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, exposed major vulnerabilities in U.S. communications systems. First responders with incompatible radios could not communicate, cell-phone networks collapsed, and the New York Stock Exchange shut down."

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Emergency network has glitch-free debut: " UWIN - the acronym for Utah's Wireless Integrated Network - was the first major initiative announced by Gov. Olene Walker when she took office last November. At the time, she said it was an important step for Utah because it would bridge the communication gap between agencies at the state, federal and local level during an emergency. She called for the first phase of the project, a voice communications system, to be up and running by July 2004."

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Consultants fault lack of planning in nightclub fire response: "PROVIDENCE, R.I. - An analysis of Rhode Island's emergency response to a nightclub fire that killed 100 people found significant problems in the state's readiness for a disaster, particularly with its capacity for communication between agencies and for marshaling resources. "

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Firehouse.com: Funding & Finance: Federal Grants Applied to Interoperable Communications: "Over the last several months, I [Charles Werner] have received numerous questions about what interoperable communication solutions are eligible for grant funding. Vendors and emergency service agencies alike have asked this question. In order to get the straight scoop, I asked the Office of Project SAFECOM's Director David Boyd to help clarify this issue. SAFECOM is an E-Gov initiative created by the President's Management Council and provides grant guidance on these issues for state and local governments. The big question/controversial issue is the reference to P25 and does an interoperable solution have to be P25 compliant to be eligible for these funds. "

Monday, July 05, 2004

Some call for cheaper radio system: "LINCOLN - Nebraska could put an end to the stories told by state troopers, sheriff's deputies, rescue personnel and others of working the same border-to-border police chase or bank robbery investigation and being unable to radio each other. And it could do so for a fraction of what a new statewide radio system would cost, communication experts say. "

Friday, July 02, 2004

(GCN) GAO cites barriers in military communications: "The military saw marked improvements in its IT networks during recent combat operations in Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq. Still some barriers, including the lack of standardized interoperable systems and equipment, prevented those improvements from being even more striking, according to a General Accounting Office report released today [6/28]. "
Interoperability: good locally, bad on a bigger scale: Federal Computer Week reports on the U.S. Conference of Mayors survey - "Seventy-seven percent of cities nationwide report their police and fire departments have interoperable communication capabilities, while 74 percent report they can communicate seamlessly with neighboring first responder agencies, according to a new national report."

Thursday, July 01, 2004

The United States Conference of Mayors INTEROPERABILITY SURVEY: This recently released report summarizes findings from a survey of 192 cities across 41 states. Money is described as the biggest impediment to interoperability, though the cities' self-assessment is surprisingly positive.