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

December 2008 SCIP Monthly Update


December 29, 2008



DHS has announced the next round of available grants for Interoperable Emergency Communications Grant Program (IECGP). Maine will receive the same amount as last year, $242,875.00.
MEMA has received guidance on the terms of these funds---

The state will have the flexibility to utilize these funds to purchase interoperable emergency communications equipment if and only if we have achieved or will achieve previously established priority objectives as required by DHS.

Priority #1-

• Establishment of a formal interoperable emergency communications governance structure.

• Establishment of an Interoperability Coordinator.

• Establishment of common planning and operational protocols.

• Development of SOPs, consistent use of interoperability channels, plain language protocols, and common channel naming.

Priority #2-

• Enhancement of emergency responder skills and capabilities through training and exercises.

• Interoperable communications-specific training and exercises that are compliant with HSEEP criteria with respect to technology and operational protocols should be conducted on a regular basis.

  • The cost share for the FY09 IECGP will be a 75% Federal and a 25% State cost share, cash or in-kind. This requirement applies to equipment purchases only.

  • No more than 50 percent of the total program funds may be used for personnel activities.

  • MEMA is required to submit the State’s application by January 13, 2009.

State Interoperability Communications Coordinator

This position is currently on hold due to the State of Maine’s hiring freeze. We are working to get an exemption approved as this is 100% federally funded position. In the meantime, MEMA staff continue to share the responsibility of this project.


MEMA and OIT continue to work on the RFP for the purchase of a radio cache that will be provided to NIMS compliant communities.

Maine Interoperable Communications Committee (MICC)

The MICC met on November 5, 2008 to review the overall accomplishments of the SCIP, Grant Awards, and future requirements. The MICC will be meeting again in January 2009.

Training Options

Over the last several months, the PSIC Training Team has worked hard to develop a communications training curriculum that will be available in several mediums. Please contact Mike Grant to schedule training at 624-4400.

  1. Classroom Training
  2. DVD (will be handed out during classroom training)
  3. Online You will need to register in order to take the online class.
  4. Visor Cards

MEMA has produced laminated CONOPS forms that can be placed in Incident Commander’s vehicles to assist with designation of frequencies during events. Visor cards, grease pencils and clips will be available to Incident Commanders very soon. These will be distributed through County EMA offices and/or handed out at training sessions.

SCIP Workshop

The Office of Emergency Communications will be providing each state an opportunity to host a workshop to assist with the SCIP Implementation. In February 2009, MEMA will host this workshop that will include OEC experts to assist us in determining our future strategies.


MEMA’s Communications Program site

Plain Language resources

When They Can’t Talk Lives are Lost What Public Officials need to know about Interoperability.

National Interoperability Field Operations Guide

Request for information

MEMA would like feedback on the usefulness of this monthly information bulletin. Does this bulletin provide you the information you need regarding the status of the State’s Communications Interoperability Plan, Grant Opportunities, Training and Exercise information? Is there other information you would like to see included in this newsletter? Please email your comments to

Statewide Interoperability Coordinator’s Meeting

Ginnie represented the State of Maine at the first ever Nation Wide State Interoperability Coordinators Meeting in December. There were over 60 participants, with representatives from Guam, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and Virgin Islands-- almost each of the continental US states as well as a number of federal partners.

The focus of this conference was to determine best practices within the Governance spectrum, but more importantly develop a network of all the Coordinator positions across the country.

A list of the issues that were brought up throughout the meeting: UASI regions work independently of this position within their state. This position has no access to the person that holds the funds (SAA). This position is not filled (like Maine) All the money has gone to the State not to the locals. The state partners that are involved in emergency communications do not work well together. Some states have not determined how to tie training and exercises into the plan. Some states have formed Executive Committees, but have not formed action oriented work-teams. Some states are so small that they do not really have “interoperability” issues-the issues are either political or processes.

All in all, Maine has made great strides in the development and implementation of the State’s Communications Interoperability Plan. We may not have a dedicated resource, or an entire agency like some states, but we continue to improve the communications challenges faced across the state.


MEMA Contact

Please address any questions for PSIC Grant Program to Bruce Fitzgerald at or by phone at 624-4400. SCIP Project to Ginnie Ricker at or by phone at 624-4471



Last update: 07/20/10