Tuesday, December 16, 2008

PSIC Report Analyzes Proposed Projects: "Nearly 90 percent — $811.6 million — of the Public Safety Interoperable Communications (PSIC) grant money will be spent on new equipment acquisition and deployment, according to a new report. The federal government in late November released a joint report that analyzes proposed projects for the nearly $1 billion PSIC grant program, which includes money for all U.S. states and territories.

In the report, “Improving Interoperable Communications Nationwide: Overview of Initial State and Territory Investments,” the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) revealed findings from their analyses of state, territory and local communications initiatives. The agencies also established a baseline for measuring each program’s anticipated impact on interoperable communications across the nation."
Governors Tackle Interoperability: "To help states ensure their communication capabilities are adequately prepared to respond to an emergency, the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices announced that Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Massachusetts, New York and Washington have been selected to participate in the Public Safety Interoperability Communications Policy Academy: Focus on Governance.

'Emergency response officials consistently cite the ability to communicate with other first responders as critical to being able to better protect the public in the face of any emergency,' said John Thomasian, director of the NGA Center. 'This Policy Academy will provide states the opportunity to addresses the coordination needed among key stakeholders to build efficient, effective interoperable communications.'"

Saturday, December 13, 2008

IAFF, USFA publish new communications guide: "A new guide on communications safety and technology has been released by the IAFF and the USFA. The updated manual, Voice Radio Communications Guide for the Fire Service, was first published in 1996 and provides the latest information on communications technology and discusses critical homeland security issues and concepts."

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Rethinking 700 MHz for Public Safety: "Emergency communications save lives.

The unfortunate corollary to this maxim: Communication failures kill. Increasingly attention is being focused on how to increase communication, not only within an emergency response organization, but also across first responders from different agencies. To remain fully connected, key communications officers have often adopted a 'bat belt' approach with several communications devices - sometimes a half dozen or more - strapped to their waist. It's a necessity for communicating among the many different federal, state and local agencies' wireless networks during an incident."