Monday, July 23, 2007

Homeland defense: Network system is broken: "The Pentagon’s ability to help civil authorities respond to a disaster or terrorist attack is hobbled by a “fractured national communication system” that remains an impediment six years after the Sept. 11 attacks, the nation’s homeland defense leader said this week.

Testifying before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on Thursday, Air Force Gen. Gene Renuart said communications problems make it more likely federal forces will be needed in a regional disaster.

“Whether responding to a disaster of natural or manmade origins, collaboration among interagency partners at all levels of government is built upon the cornerstone of communications,” Renuart said.

But six years after communications breakdowns kept rescuers in the dark on Sept. 11, “our nation continues to struggle with two distinct communications issues: interoperability and survivability,” he said."
Homeland Security chief defends timing of communications grants: "Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff on Wednesday defended the government's timeframe for issuing nearly $1 billion in grants to bolster emergency communications.

'We've been funding these kinds of things for years,' Chertoff said, noting that federal money has been flowing to build a system that can communicate across jurisdictions since 2002, one year after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York City, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C. 'I think it would be wrong to suggest that somehow we've been sitting on our hands for five years when we've built an awful lot of this system already."
Finding a Signal - Helena IR: "By all accounts, Augusta’s first responders cover a wide swath of terrain that stretches east and west from the Continental Divide to Cascade County, and north and south from the Sun River to Highway 200. Covering several hundred square miles, it’s one of the largest and more rural districts in Lewis and Clark County. It’s also one where radio and cell-phone coverage can be spotty, posing a challenge to first responders."
Bapco Journal: UK police radio communications standard begins roll-out: A new national standard for radio communications, known as AirwaveSpeak will begin roll-out to the police service in the England, Wales and Scotland. AirwaveSpeak is part of a broader strategy by the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) to assist police forces to increase efficiency, enhance interoperability and support frontline policing.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Firefighters Rip Giuliani, Call Him 'Urban Legend': "The International Association of Firefighters has gone on the offensive against 'America's Mayor' Rudy Giuliani, releasing a 13-minute video that viciously rips into the former New York mayor, who has been using his leadership demonstrated on September 11th to urge people around the country to support him in his quest to become President of the United States."