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MEMA Home > Programs> Communication> News > January 2009 Monthly Bulletin

January 2009 Monthly Bulletin

 

January 26, 2009

 

State Interoperability Communications Coordinator

We believe we will be moving forward with this position in the next month.

Radios

MEMA is pleased to announce the availability of 115 “packages” of portable and mobile radios through the FY2007 PSIC Grant Program.

The State of Maine has negotiated a contract with Maine Radio of Scarborough to provide P-25 compliant radios at a very good price. As part of this contract, MEMA will purchase (2) portable radios and (1) mobile radio, with appropriate accessories, for 115 communities across the state.

The contract will also enable additional purchases by County, Local and Tribal agencies at the State’s discounted pricing through September 2010.

MEMA’s goal with this effort (and the entire PSIC program) is to provide basic P25 capability to as many areas of the state as possible. We are also continuing to promote ongoing NIMS compliance statewide. Some numbers to consider:

  • 50 counties and/or towns received a direct award through PSIC
  • 75 additional towns were helped through a joint application filed by another agency
  • All 16 counties are NIMS compliant
  • 181 towns made some effort in 2007 and/or 2008 to comply with NIMS, yet were not at 100% compliance (for the purpose of FY07 PSIC funds, we must look at FY07/08 NIMS scores)
  • 104 towns were 100% NIMS compliant and have not yet received any benefit through PSIC

Our goal is to provide assistance to communities that have not already benefited with equipment purchased through PSIC funding. MEMA will accept applications until all 115 packages have been distributed. In order to ensure fair distribution statewide, MEMA will award the first (5) eligible applicants from each County until all 16 counties have been addressed. We will then distribute the remaining radio packages based on the order in which applications were received here at MEMA.

MEMA also intends to purchase(1) programming software and cable kit for each County EMA to help communities program their radios. All programming and ongoing maintenance of the radios are the responsibility of the end user (see guidance and app). We are not requiring County EMAs to program every radio, however we want to ensure that the programming software and cables for Vertex radios are as locally available to the end users as possible. MEMA and OIT will also have this capability however we cannot be responsible for all the programming needs of the 115 end users.

We are working with OIT and the vendor on final details such as delivery/shipping of the radios to the end users. Please contact me or Roy Jones if you have any questions about this opportunity.

Maine Interoperable Communications Committee (MICC)

During the January MICC meeting, it was decided to review the Governance structure, mission of the committee and members. This will be the focus of the February SCIP workshop.

Request for information

In May, Ginnie will be attending a meeting in New York with other coordinators to discuss Northern Border communications issues. If you have information or issues that would be helpful, please email your comments to ginnie.ricker@maine.gov.

Training

Communications Interoperability Course (G575) March 10 & 11, 2009

This program will provide the student with the following information:

  1. Define communications interoperability and explain its importance.
  2. Describe five dimensions of interoperability.
  3. Explain how the escalation of an incident relates to changing interoperability requirements.
  4. Describe the importance of having a governance structure in place to support communications interoperability.
  5. Identify the elements of a governance structure for interoperability.
  6. Assess their governance status and identify steps to establish effective governance.
  7. Describe technological issues that affect emergency communications systems.
  8. Describe technological options to improve interoperability. Identify technology shortfalls that impact interoperability.
  9. Identify strategies to address technology shortfalls.
  10. Describe the types of planning documents that can help achieve communications interoperability.
  11. Identify topics that should be addressed in communications plans and procedures.
  12. Determine the current status of interoperability plans and procedures and identify action steps to improve them. Describe the importance of training and exercise in validating interoperability.
  13. Identify ways to incorporate interoperable communications into a comprehensive training and exercise program.
  14. Determine the current status of interoperability training and exercises and identify steps to enhance them.
  15. Describe the benefits of regular usage of interoperability solutions.
  16. Determine their current status with regard to regular usage.
  17. Describe issues, challenges, and strategies associated with regular usage.
  18. Identify strategies to enhance regular usage of interoperable communication.
  19. Describe challenges related to funding communications interoperability initiatives.
  20. Identify potential sources of funding.

Selection Criteria: State, County, and local emergency officials responsible for interoperable communications.

Course location: The course will be held at the Florian Hall Conference Room in the Department of Public Safety headquarters located on Commerce Drive in North Augusta. Lunch and breaks will be provided each day. All other expenses are the responsibility of the student. Classes will run from 8:15 am to 4:30 pm daily. Please contact Roy Jones or Mike Grant at MEMA if you are interested.

MEMA Contact

Please address any questions for PSIC Grant Program or SCIP Projects to Ginnie Ricker at ginnie.ricker@maine.gov

Grant funds at work

Projects that have been completed with PSIC grant monies so far:

Aroostook County EMA, Cumberland County EMA, Hancock County EMA, Lincoln County EMA, Oxford Hills Region, Penobscot County EMA, Piscataquis County EMA, Sagadahoc County EMA has purchased mobile and portable radios, Knox County has purchased MDTs and accessories, Spillman software and a microwave hop, Penobscot Regional Communications purchase microwave equipment, and many communities have already purchased their own radios and accessories.

It is important that awardees get their projects done and submit invoices for reimbursement!!!!

 

Contact:

Ginnie Ricker, 207-624-4431

 

Last update: 07/20/10