Responders in tri-state area standardize communications
| 04.27.2006 | 08:44:30 | Views: 3090 | ID:
April 27 '06: State and local authorities in the Maryland, Virginia and Washington DC areas have integrated a standardized communications frequency so that first responders will be able to communication to each other during an emergency, Government Computer News reported Wednesday.
With the standardization, now "what remains to be done in establishing interoperable systems is the unglamorous job of getting everyone on the same page," GCN reported, according to officials in the areas. Capt. Eddie Reyes of the Alexandria, VA., Police Department told GCN, "The technical piece for the most part has been repaired since 9/11. ... Now we have to focus on the human piece of interoperability."Communications have been set at 800MHz, GCN reported and that the Federal Communications Commission "has set aside national mutual-aid channels in all three of the major public safety radio bands, UHF, VHF and the 800MHz band." Efforts to integrate communications has been an ongoing effort since the attacks on 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina last year. Following a stunted recovery and response effort by the federal government as well state and local emergency management agencies, a Senate report released Thursday detailed changes recommended to be made to increase response efficiency and communications. USA Today reported the formation of the National Preparedness and Response Authority (NPRA) to be created "in the Homeland Security Department with a leader who answers directly to the department secretary," and who will coordinate with the president in times of natural or national emergency in the hopes of opening lines of communication. With the creation of "strike teams," dispatched to affected areas, federal officials hope to be able to coordinate with local and state responders in a timely manner, USA Today reported. However federal funding to create the communications capability in the field has been limited: but officials told GCN that though there are no funds in the President Bush's 2007 budget proposal, money will be made available.
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