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MAINE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY
SCIP Monthly Update May 2009
May 12, 2009
State’s Interoperability Vision
The State of Maine will have a firmly established, formally managed and maintainable communications environment, based on technology, protocols, training and usage, that will provide seamless communications capability to all emergency management, first responder, and response support organizations at the local, regional and State levels, enabling them to exchange information via voice and data means, as required by standard NIMS response procedures, to provide effective, coordinated and timely all hazards response to our citizens.
State Interoperability Communications Coordinator
This is how you rated the Interoperability Continuum in your own communities:
Preliminary results of the Survey question #1 –
Your Commentary includes:
Maine Interoperable Communications Committee (MICC)
The Charter has been finalized and is awaiting approval.
Training & Exercises
COML Unit Leader Type III Training (COML):
Through the Office of Emergency Communications Interoperable Communications Technical Assistance Program (OEC/ICTAP), the All-Hazards Type III Communications Unit Leader (COML) Class is available to provide DHS approved National Incident Management System (NIMS) compliant Communications Unit Leader (COML) instruction to ensure that every state/territory has trained personnel capable of coordinating on-scene emergency communications during a multi-jurisdictional response. This Train the trainer class is scheduled for June 23-25 in Waterville, to entities with a population of 4000 or more. Five (5) students from each of the six (6) regions will be selected for a total of thirty (30).
Contact MEMA Interoperable Communication Division (624-4476) for questions or further information, or go to our communication website to see the full descriptive and details
NEWS from our March Workshops:
Here are five concerns from the County Workshops that were held in March. We selected comments that were mentioned from the majority of the Counties.
Top five (5) Concerns:
If you haven’t received a State of Maine Conops Disk please contact Steven Mallory at (207)624-4476 or or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Five tips for COML Training:
Why are we converting to Narrowbanding?
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) established the Public Safety Wireless Advisory Committee (PSWAC or Advisory Committee), their Final Report concludes that, unless immediate measures are taken to alleviate spectrum shortfalls and promote interoperability, Public Safety agencies will not be able to adequately discharge their obligation to protect life and property in a safe, efficient, and cost effective manner. The radio frequencies allocated for Public Safety use have become highly congested in many, especially urban, areas. Usable spectrum for mobile operations is limited, and Public Safety agencies are not able to meet existing requirements, much less to plan for future, more advanced communications needs. Not only does the shortage of spectrum jeopardize the lives and health of Public Safety officials, it threatens their ability to fully discharge their duty to protect the lives and property of all Americans…
Narrowbanding Compliance Plan:
FYI: MEMA has distributed 91 sets of P-25 radios across the State during the months of March-April
Narrowbanding Frequently Asked Questions:
Q - Are we forced to move to 800 MHz?
A - No. Narrowbanding does not require moving to another frequency band.
Q - Will we have to buy new radios?
A - Depends. Most radios purchased in the last 6-8 years are already narrowband capable. They only need to be re-tuned.
Q – Will we need to change frequencies?
A – No. You merely reduce the bandwidth of the channel(s) you are now using.
Q – Will that reduce our coverage?
A – Little if any. You may have to survey your system and area of operation. Only a thorough analysis of your coverage requirements can tell for sure.
Q – Will we have to convert to digital?
A– No. However, many agencies are using this opportunity to upgrade to digital technology. Most digital radios are dual mode capable and can operate in wide band analog as well as narrowband analog and digital. Digital is also more immune from adjacent channel interference along with features unavailable in analog.
Q – We do not have the money to move to narrowband. Isn’t this an unfunded mandate?
A– Not really. The dates are extended enough to ensure most agencies have fully amortized the value of their current equipment by the time the mandates kick in.
Q – Will we have to convert our pagers?
A – Maybe, any pagers on channels 152.0075 and 157.400 can remain on 25 khz
Q – Does UHF have any requirements?
A – No, there are no requirements for those on UHF band
Q – After 2013 can we apply for some of the leftover or new channels?
A – It is a myth that there will be hundreds of additional channels
Q – If we are on VHF do we have to apply for a new license?
A – No, VHF requires license modification to existing licenses only
Q - Where can I learn more about Interoperability?
A - Go to: http://www.safecomprogram.gov
Last update: 07/20/10
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