Monday, March 27, 2006

Budget includes money for radio revamp: "Gov. Kathleen Blanco wants to use $2.8 million of an expected windfall of sales tax and gambling revenue to improve emergency communications in areas affected by Hurricane Rita."

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Keeping Everyone In The Loop: "“Communications interoperability” has been a hot button issue for years, and a basis for lots of funding opportunities. Certainly, communications systems are expensive, and it’s difficult to convince governmental bodies to fund a replacement for a system that works, even if it doesn’t work well. There are frequency allocation problems, and sometimes it’s difficult to find places for enough repeater towers, but the greatest barriers to overcome are not fiscal or technological, but rather political."

Monday, March 20, 2006

Public Safety Interoperable Communications Baseline Study - Technology & Communications: "In the very near future, you will begin to hear about a study that is designed to measure public safety interoperable communications across the country. This study is titled, 'The Public Safety Interoperable Communications Baseline Measurement' and is being facilitated by SAFECOM"

Friday, March 17, 2006

FCC Public Safety Reorganization: "Today, the Commission took a critical step forward in its plan to strengthen its public safety and homeland security functions by voting unanimously to establish a 'Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau.' The new Bureau is designed to provide a more efficient, effective, and responsive organizational structure to address public safety, homeland security, national security, emergency management and preparedness, disaster management, and other related issues."

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Interoperability still plagues DHS: "... The lack of technical standards isn’t as important as the lack of planning at the state and local level, said Bruce Baughman, director of the Alabama Emergency Management Agency and president of the National Emergency Management Association. Baughman said the first thing he asks people who say they have an interoperable communications problem is whether they have a communications plan. Nine out of 10 don’t, he said."

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

FCC panel studies disaster plans: "When Hurricane Katrina started ripping apart radio transmission equipment in coastal Jackson County, the emergency radio system switched to Fail Soft, a limp-along mode that allows some limited communication.

'But many of our users had never used it and when they turned on their radios, the first word they saw was 'fail,' so that created a lot more uncertainty,' said George Sholl, Jackson County Emergency Management director."

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Wireless networking a focal point of new Safecom requirements: "Wireless networks will take on a much more prominent role in the Homeland Security Department’s updated requirements for interoperable communications for first responders. The Safecom program, which is the departmental unit promoting improved radio communications for emergency response agencies, has released a 208-page Statement of Requirements for Public Safety Wireless Communications and Interoperability (Version 1.1) on its Web site. The new requirements address all manner of wireless networks, from personal and temporary to huge, extended systems."
APCO Seeks Interoperability Funding in President's Budget: "The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International released a statement on the President's FY 2007 Budget, noting its lack of adequate funding for dedicated first responder interoperable communications grant programs.

'APCO International is concerned that there is no 'dedicated' DHS grant program for improving first responder interoperable communications in the President's 2007 budget,' the statement from APCO International said. APCO International further noted its disappointment in the Administration's intent to eliminate the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Interoperable Communications Grant program, despite the program's success.

In its statement, APCO International urged the Administration and Congress to:

* Increase direct funding for the SAFECOM program;
* Provide $100 million for the COPS Interoperability Communications Grant program, and;
* Provide $1 billion in dedicated funding for emergency communications grants from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to local governments.
Modeling employee background checks - InfoWorld: "Sterling testing systems never actually called the solution they came up with BPM (business process management) until after the fact, says Paul Mladineo, vice president of strategic development."
Business process management (BPM) techniques and tools offer promise to untangle emergency management and response, including the their nervous system: Interagency communications. BPM is already being used to model, analyze, and optimize human information exchange process for homeland security purposes.

Evaluating anti-terror technology - InfoWorld : "Business process management even has a place in the war on terror, according to Indy Crowley, research staff member and acting lead for IT at the Institute for Defense Analysis (IDA), an organization that evaluates technology under the SAFETY (Support Anti-Terrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies) Act of 2002."