Tuesday, July 25, 2006

MARS Wins Major Homeland Security Task:: "Ham radio operators in the Military Affiliate Radio System will provide emergency backup communications for the Transportation Security Administration under a formal agreement announced by Army MARS Chief Kathy Harrison. Airport protection during the current hurricane season will be the immediate focus, Chief Harrison said. She added that the new collaboration with the TSA “is likely to expand to other Department of Homeland Security (DHS) areas” in the future. A “Memorandum of Understanding” signed by the two agencies--and already in effect--provides for use of MARS networks, manpower and equipment to maintain communications during the initial 72 hours of incidents involving aircraft, mass transit and pipelines. MARS is also tasked to provide interoperability with other communications systems."
Grants will boost interoperability policy: "Five states will get U.S. grants to improve their policy co-ordination on interoperable communications for first responders and other agencies. The National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the SAFECOM program, the communications program of the Department of Homeland Security, said in a statement Tuesday that Alabama, Indiana, Minnesota, Montana and Washington would get $50,000 each 'to support governors and other state and local policymakers in developing state-wide interoperability plans for wireless communications.'"

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Sacramento Metro Fire rips its radios: "The head of the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District has blasted the way the county's radio communication system is being updated, saying it jeopardizes public safety and puts the lives of firefighters and other emergency workers at risk.

'The situation has become critical to public safety,' Chief Don Mette said recently in a sharply worded letter to county officials.

Mette said there have been times when there were not enough channels to adequately serve firefighters and law enforcement officials. He also said the system sometimes has spotty reception, even in populated areas."

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Inbuilding coverage in the Big Apple: "On May 31, The Durst Organization announced that it has upgraded communications within its portfolio of Manhattan high-rise buildings to facilitate two-way radio communications for first responders, including the Fire Department of New York, Emergency Medical Services, New York Police Department and others."