Through collaboration with emergency responders and policy makers across all levels of government, SAFECOM and the National Council of Statewide Interoperability Coordinators (NCSWIC) work to improve multi-jurisdictional and intergovernmental communications interoperability. SAFECOM and NCSWIC work with existing Federal communications programs and key emergency response stakeholders to develop better technologies and processes for the multi-jurisdictional and cross-disciplinary coordination of existing communications systems and future networks.
The resources hosted on this site were created by SAFECOM, NCSWIC, and their partner organizations to improve public safety interoperability. The library is organized according to the elements of the Interoperability Continuum (governance, standard operating procedures, technology, training and exercises, and usage) as well as sections on planning, funding, interoperability, and Field Operations Guides.
Establishing a common governing structure for solving interoperability issues will improve the polices, processes, and procedures of any major projects by: enhancing communications, coordination, and cooperation; establishing guidelines and principles; and reducing any internal jurisdictional conflicts. The resources listed on this page will help provide insight and direction on how to build strong governing structures.
The resources in this section identify funding solutions to maintain interoperable networks.
Technology is a critical tool for improving interoperability that should meet the needs of practitioners on the front lines and should address regional needs, existing infrastructure, cost verses benefits, and sustainability. The resources below provide examples of the technology currently used in the public safety environment.
Implementing effective training and exercise programs to practice communications interoperability is essential for ensuring that the technology works and responders are able to effectively communicate during emergencies.
In addition to the five elements of the Interoperability Continuum, planning is a major factor for interoperable communications. The documents in this section include resources about the 2014 National Emergency Communications Plan, education and outreach programs, and maintaining awareness of the specific issues and barriers that affect interoperability communications.
Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are formal, written guidelines or instructions for incident response that typically have both operational and technical components
As communications and information sharing technologies advance, the public safety community faces an increasing amount of Identity, Credential, and Access Management (ICAM) challenges.
The Joint SAFECOM – National Council of Statewide Interoperability Coordinators (NCSWIC) Communications Unit Working Group was stood up to better understand present governance models and best practices within the Communications Unit environment. The working group also address communications interoperability concerns across agencies, states, and organizations.
The SNS is a nationwide data collection effort to obtain actionable and critical data that drives our nation’s emergency communication policies, programs, and funding.
The Field Operations Guides are technical references for emergency communications planning and for radio technicians responsible for radios that will be used in emergency responses.
Technology is a critical tool for improving interoperability that should meet the needs of practitioners on the front lines and should address regional needs, existing infrastructure, cost verses benefits, and sustainability. The resources below provide interoperability examples of the technology currently used in the public safety environment.
The Office of Emergency Communications (OEC) Interoperable Communications Technical Assistance Program (ICTAP) provides all 56 states and territories with on-site Technical Assistance (TA) services at no cost.
The Interoperable Communications Technical Assistance Program (ICTAP) provides no cost online software applications that promote collaborative public safety communications planning and response.