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MEMA Home > Programs> Communication> News > SCIP Monthly Update April 2008

SCIP Monthly Update April 2008

 

April 11, 2008

 

SCIP Update:

Maine has received preliminary feedback from Dept. of Homeland Security. Based on the feedback, MEMA received Technical Assistance in early April and has since resubmitted our plan.

SCIP Presentation:

During the month of March, MEMA staff visited each County Emergency Management Agency Director and first responders to provide more information pertaining to the SCIP, Grant Guidance, and data collection. These meetings were very useful for MEMA to capture issues across the state. We hope that participants found these meetings useful as well.

The complete presentation information can be found at our website: http://maine.gov/mema/programs/communications

What’s Next?

Over the next 30 days, the teams will:

  • Finalize the Grant Guidance documentation and plan on announcing as soon as the MICC has reviewed.
  • Finalize the Training plan and schedule pilot classes
  • Provide all information to the Maine Interoperability Communications Committee for final review on April 29, 2008.

County Visits results:

We received a lot of good feedback from county directors and their partners during the March visits. Again, we would like to thank all the organizations that participated in the meetings. It was nice to meet everyone!!

Here is a list of items that were discussed:

  • FCC licensing issues From Canada can take years for approval
  • Need more information from State regarding the CAD/RMS project
  • Communities need access to cellular towers for public safety communications equipment
  • CONOPS training and information needs to be more widely disseminated
  • Communities would like a detailed list of “minimum requirements” for technology that will be allowable as part of the grant
  • Counties would like to incorporate Mobile Command Vehicles into future communications exercises
  • Someone needs to monitor all the different federal grants that have to do with communications
  • Antiquated towers need to be replaced immediately

Grant Review Committee:

The final grant review committee is:

  • Richard Thompson, CIO, Office of Information Technology
  • Mark Leonard, Chief, Veazie Police Department
  • Darrel Fournier, Chief, Freeport Fire Department
  • Shawn Romanoski, State Communications Coordinator, Office of Information Technology
  • Roy Jones, Communications Manager, Maine Emergency Management Agency
  • Ray Bessette, Major / Support Services, Maine State Police
  • Stephan Bunker, Staff Development Coordinator, Public Utilities Commission
  • Bruce Fitzgerald, Homeland Security Director, Maine Emergency Management Agency
  • Vernon Ouellette, Aroostook County EMA Director
  • Kevin Guimond, Chief, South Portland Fire Department
  • Peter J. Brown, Freelance writer, Mt. Desert Island
  • Phyllis Gamache-Jensen, Sagadahoc County RCC Director
  • Barry W. Norris, Chief, Union Fire Department
  • Scott Parker, Oxford County EMA Director
  • David Astle, Customs and Border Protection

We are very excited that all these folks accepted our invitation to participate on this very important committee. They all bring a specific area of expertise to the process.

Communication Assets Survey and Mapping Tool (CASM)

The following counties have submitted their data. If your county is not listed, please submit to Rich Damren or contact him.

Cumberland, Hancock, Somerset, Piscataquis, Penobscot, Waldo, and York

Frequently Asked Questions:

Please review all our Frequently Asked Questions.

Question: Who is eligible for these funds?

Answer: A recipient must be a public safety agency that is a State, local or tribal government entity or nongovernmental organization authorized by such entity, whose sole or principal purpose is to protect safety of life, health, or property. {local government means a “county, municipality, city, township, local public authority, school district, special district, intrastate district, council of governments and other regional or interstate government entity, or any agency or instrumentality of local government.”

Public Safety Agency defined: may include homeland security, law enforcement, fire, and emergency medical services among others. Nongovernmental organizations may include for-profit ambulance services, volunteer fire fighters, and agencies that are responsible for responding to 911 calls, among others.

Question: Why do some cellular companies allow first responders to hang equipment and others do not?

Answer: This issue came up in almost every county. The ability for Towns and Public Safety officials to utilize private sector towers needs to be part of the contract and negotiation terms. This should be done early on during the conversations with the Cellular companies. Many counties and towns have incorporated this as part of the contracts.

Question: What is MSCommNet and how is it going to better communications?

Answer: (From the Maine.gov/OIT website) Maine State Communication Network System Program (MSCommNet Project) The Maine State Communication Network System Replacement Program (MSCommNet Project) will provide a Statewide Radio Frequency Based Voice and Data Communication System Replacement. This will be a multi-phased program. Currently Phase I and Phase II have been defined. Each of these program phases will be defined as projects that may also include phases.

Phase I of the MSCommNet Project program has been completed and provided the procurement process that culminated in a contract for Phase II engineering and consulting services for the communication system replacement. Phase II of the MSCommNet Project program has also been completed and has provided the basis for Phase III Implementation Stages. This includes the following stages: Site Stage, Microwave Stage and Two Way Stage. Each of the stages will be defined as separate projects and the current plan is to implement the stages in parallel.

For more information or contacts you may access the link below.

http://maine.gov/oit/radio/mscommnet/index.htm

Question: What is the status of the Public Safety CAD/RMS Project?

Answer: Public Safety and OIT jointly wrote a COPS Technology grant request (this is completely separate of the SCIP money). Public Safety is trying to resolve the many issues they have with multiple CAD/RMS systems. The funding that was received will provide needs assessment of technology, software and future management. The OIT portion of the grant is for Microwave system to interconnect the dispatch facilities. The other portion of the grant is to perform a needs assessment of the multiple systems across the state and how to integrate them rather than replace previous investments.

Question: What does a P25 Compliant radio cost?

Answer: (Example) An ICOM F-70D P 25 portable capable of 256 channels on the VHF Highband (25.5 & 6.25 MHZ frequency separation) goes for around $1,800 each. However, depending on quantity purchased prices could go as low as $1,400 or less. Other brands such as Motorola might be in the price range of $2,500 to $3,000 each. Same capabilities, just different features.

Please submit comments or questions to Dave Duehring (david.duehring@maine.gov).

Our Website is available to access all information:

http://www.maine.gov/mema/programs/communications

 

Contact:

Dave Deuhring

david.duehring@maine.gov

 

Last update: 07/20/10