Governance is a critical component of successful interoperable emergency communication. The SAFECOM and NCSWIC members value effective governance, but recognize it as one of the greatest challenges that face emergency communications officials. There are many complexities behind establishing and maintaining effective governance bodies, especially in the constantly evolving communications landscape. For example, obtaining sufficient funding to support the efforts of the governance bodies or ensuring the governance bodies are forward looking to proactively shape impacts of technological advancements among the first responder community. The state of governance structures across the country greatly varies, creating the need for proven recommendations to assist jurisdictions to establish and mature their governance practices.
The Governance Guide for State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Emergency Communications Officials (Governance Guide) is a tool for public safety professionals at all levels of government and disciplines to use in assessing, establishing, and sustaining effective emergency communications governance. Developed with direct input from a wide array of responders across the country, this tool comprehensively lays out governance challenges, best practices, and recommendations. While none of the information provided is intended to be restrictive or required, the broad approach allows emergency communications officials to specifically select and apply the recommendations that is most appropriate for each of their specific situation or challenge.
The Governance Guide Working Group met between December 2014 and July 2015, and supported case studies with over 20 states, cities, and regions across the country to compile information on successful, repeatable models of governance that can be emulated in other states, localities, tribal nations, and territories. Thus, these best practices and recommendations are real-world solutions to real problems. Thank you to members of the Working Group for your contribution to this Guide as well as those that participated in the case study discussions.
SAFECOM and NCSWIC intend for this document to be widely used to successfully assist and support emergency communications officials across the country implement effective governance in the years to come.
For more information on the Governance Guide, please refer to: http://www.dhs.gov/safecom/governance.
Respectfully on behalf of:
Steve Proctor, SAFECOM Chair
Michael Varney, NCSWIC Chair
Charlie Sasser, Governance Guide Working Group Chair