Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Digital radio links may guard Bay Area: "Oakland and San Francisco are proposing digital radio links across and around the Bay, with computers and radio repeaters for making incompatible radios talk to one another, as a linchpin of a new emergency communications network from Monterey to Sacramento. While the two sides of the Bay have worked together on less ambitious radio plans, such as crisis communications on the Golden Gate Bridge, the latest proposal marks the first crossBay effort since the Sept. 11 attacks to create emergency communications for the entire region."
Oregon Senate Committee Passes Bill To Improve Homeland Security: "Critical legislation to protect Oregonians in the event of terrorism or natural disasters cleared a key Senate Budget panel Wednesday and is headed to the Senate floor on Monday. The legislation addresses Oregon's inadequate and antiquated communications infrastructure."

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Miami-Dade Police go high-tech with laptops: "With the click of a button, Miami-Dade police Officer Zeida Cabado can find out whether a person is wanted for a crime. With another, she can see a list of emergency calls waiting to be answered. One more click and she can get directions to the location of her next emergency call. All of this is done from inside her police car while she is out on patrol.

Thanks to advances in wireless technology and improved data systems, police officers in the field are no longer as reliant on their radios to get information. Instead, they can access a mobile network that uses the latest technology to improve response times and efficiency."

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Chicago blazes affordable path to radio interoperability: "Radio network interoperability: It's not just a convenience; it's a matter of life and death. If police, fire and EMS crews cannot talk to each other, the margin for error — and loss of life — can be profound. Chicago's municipal government knows this well. In the two-mile-square downtown area known as the “Loop,” “Thirty to 35 public safety agencies operate on a daily basis,” said Rich Nowakowski, but adding, “None of them can talk to each other.”"

Sunday, July 17, 2005

FT.com / Home UK - Learning the lessons of 9/11: "One of the many lessons learned from the terrorist attacks of 9/11 was that poor communications severely hampered the effectiveness of rescue workers and compounded the tragedy. Public safety bodies are thus taking a close look at how new wireless technologies can improve communications in times of trouble.

Thanks to the mobile phone, communications are a lot easier than they used to be and cellphones often provide a lifeline for rescue workers and loved ones. One of the most poignant memories of 9/11 was the final calls made by passengers onboard the hijacked aircraft. But 9/11 also revealed the big weakness of cellular networks – that they were never designed with disasters in mind. In Manhattan, the cellular infrastructure collapsed after the attacks because the huge increase in calls overloaded networks already weakened by the loss of more than 14 cellular base stations. For those all-important first few hours after the attacks, New York was plunged into a communications blackout. A notable exception was the Mobitex wireless data service and New Yorkers frantically pecked out messages on their BlackBerry handheld devices."

Monday, July 11, 2005

Spectrum Shift Threatens Radio Communication: "Emergency responders cross county lines every day in the greater Washington region, and their radios go along, too. But some emergency communications officials fear that a reshuffling of the radio spectrum will threaten their ability to communicate across borders."

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Senate pitches first-responder communications bill: "Members of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee are co-sponsoring legislation to authorize $3.9 billion to create a national architecture enabling first-responder agencies to communicate wirelessly."

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Group of Senators Say Improved Communication Among First Responders is Key to Better Homeland Security: "Last week a bipartisan group of Senators from the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee introduced legislation aimed at improving the ability of first responders to communicate with one another at disaster sites.

Committee Chairman Susan Collins, R-Me., Ranking Member Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., and Senators Daniel Akaka, D-Hi., and Carl Levin, D-Mich., said the Improve Interoperable Communications for First Responders Act of 2005 would provide dedicated funding, strengthen federal leadership, fortify outreach and technical assistance to state and local first responders, promote greater regional cooperation, and ensure research and development on interoperability issues so that police officers, firefighters, and emergency medical workers can talk to one another across jurisdictional, departmental, and geographic boundaries."