Author: The Office of Emergency Communications
Last month, the Office of Emergency Communications (OEC) and the National Governors Association (NGA) conducted workshops in Alaska and Hawaii as part the Policy Academy on Enhancing Emergency Communications Interoperability. The Pilot Academy – which officially kicked off in May 2016 – will help states design specific strategies to strengthen interoperability plans, including assessing and formalizing governance structures and standard operating procedures. Five states were invited to participate in the Academy: Alaska, Hawaii, Illinois, Utah, and West Virginia.
“The NGA Policy Academy is an exciting initiative that will improve interoperability in the pilot states and make sure first responders are better positioned in an emergency to save lives,” said OEC Deputy Director Chris Essid, who participated in the Alaska and Hawaii workshops. “We’re excited to help Alaska and Hawaii in this critical aspect of public safety and we look forward to implementing the lessons learned in all states and territories going forward.”
OEC originally partnered with NGA in 2007 to conduct a Policy Academy that focused on interoperable communications. While the 2007 Policy Academy focused almost exclusively on Land Mobile Radio (LMR), this year’s Academy is addressing interoperability challenges across the new emergency communications ecosystem – LMR, broadband, and Next Generation 911, among others. By the end of the Academy, participating states will be prepared to present recommendations and a plan of action to their governor. In addition, OEC will incorporate the best practices and recommendations from the Academy into the Office’s Technical Assistance offerings and Statewide Communications Interoperability Plan workshops.
The Alaska workshop took place on July 11-12. The Hawaii workshop – which was kicked off by Governor David Y. Ige and featured Adjutant General Arthur “Joe” Logan – took place on July 19. The next NGA Policy Academy workshops are scheduled for August 23-24 in West Virginia, August 30 in Utah, and September 8-9 in Illinois.
For more information, please the preview SAFECOM Blog from April 7, 2016.