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MAINE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY
SCIP Monthly Update June 2009
June 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
The Communication Survey results: The results can be accessed on the MEMA website: Go to programs and then Communications. [ADD LINK]
This is how you rated the Interoperability Continuum in your own communities.
Preliminary results of the Survey question #1 –
Maine Interoperable Communications Committee (MICC)
The MICC will be meeting in June to finalize the Charter and discuss future activities.
Training & Exercises
REMINDER - ALL-Hazards Type III Communications Unit Leader (COML) Class response. This class is scheduled for June 23-25 in Waterville.
Contact Steven Mallory at MEMA (624-4476) for questions or http://www.maine.gov/mema/memanewsdisplay.shtml?id=70998 for more info
Where can I learn more about Interoperability?
NEWS from our March Workshops……
Here are six concerns from the County Workshops that were held in March. I selected comments that were mentioned from the majority of the Counties...
Top six (6) Concerns:
Five tips for COML Training:
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
National Interoperability Field Operations Guide (NIFOG)
In order to assist Federal and non-Federal agencies and potential users of the mutual aid channels, the Department of Homeland Security has published the National Interoperability Field Operations Guide (NIFOG) (see http://www.fcc.gov/pshs/techtopics/techtopics12.html#fn5#fn5 ). It contains an organized listing of the national mutual aid channels as well as additional information to assist users in the field. The general use of a frequency is provided along with the NPSTC Channel Identification, the frequency of operation and any other parameter specifications. The NIFOG is available by contacting DHS's Office of Emergency Communications at email@example.com.
The channel identifications were determined by the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC) as part of the FCC rulemaking process. The Report of the Committee can be viewed at http://www.oes.ca.gov/Operational/OESHome.nsf/PDF/Calsiec021907CNTGReport/$file/Calsiec021907CNTGReport.pdf. See also http://www.npstc.org/channelNaming.jsp. An alternative version of the mutual aid channel listing is also available on the NPSTC web page at http://tsiec.region49.org/ATT2126321.pdf
The goal of the MSCommNet project is to rebuild the state radio communications system. The rebuild will provide all public safety entities an opportunity to leverage the new radio architecture and enhancements.
This is a 3-year project, currently one year behind due to contractual issues. The first two items that will be worked on are:
Part of the project will be to decommission 75 radio sites. The new sites will be more robust and provide security, power supplies, backup capabilities, and 24 x 7 monitoring.
The conversion to MSCommNet will be to a VHF Digital IP System. Every tower will be part of “RegionNet” which will provide radio users backward compatibility. Current radio users will continue to be able to communicate on the new infrastructure.
OIT will be working with all tower users to develop Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) to ensure seamless conversion in 2013.
The costs for utilizing these towers will be $99.16 month; which covers leases, propane, inspections, batteries and support.
If more entities utilize the towers, the expectation is that the monthly rate will decrease. If fewer users participate, the cost is expected to increase. All towers will be integrated via a microwave system that will allow a greater interoperability of the network.
Users must have an MOU to utilize a frequency, if you do not have a license in your entities name; the exception to this is the CONOPS plan. For emergencies; CONOPS frequencies are available at the request of the Incident Commander to MEMA.
See CONOPS Quick Reference Guide at: http://www.maine.gov/tools/whatsnew/attach.php?id=22704&an=1
OIT is working on development of technology contracts that can be leveraged by all. Currently the only contract in place is with Maine Radio. Information can be found at: http://www.maine.gov/oit/services/radio/availablecontracts/index.html .
OIT will be developing a roll-out plan in the near future. This will be shared with County EMA’s.
For more information regarding MSCommNet, please see the OIT website at: http://www.maine.gov/oit/services/radio/mscommnet/index.html
LINE A – Issues
On May 13, 2009 the FCC Public Notice on VHF-UHF Freq on US Canada Border, click on this link to find out more: http://www.maine.gov/tools/whatsnew/attach.php?id=74193&an=1
What are the components of a truly interoperable communications system, and what are the barriers to creating one?
There are a variety of challenges to interoperability: some are technical, some financial, and some stem from human factors such as inadequate planning and lack of awareness of the real importance of interoperability.
According to a report published in February 2003 by the National Task Force on Interoperability, the emergency response community views the following as the key issues hampering emergency response wireless communications:
Interoperable Technologies Must be Used to be Learned
It’s hard to know what you’re missing if you never experienced it to begin with. This is the challenge facing many of the Nation’s emergency responders serving on the frontlines. As a communications leader in Maine, I see the importance of practitioners needing to use interoperable technologies and apply best practices every day.
Regularly applying interoperable technologies and methodologies will help users to improve communication across disciplines and jurisdictions when a large-scale event or emergency occurs. When a major incident like a natural disaster or terrorist attack takes place, responders who use the interoperable technologies frequently will deploy the necessary interoperable tools more readily and successfully.
Last update: 07/20/10
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