Magazine article National Defense

Governors Attempt Interoperability Solution as Feds Falter

Magazine article National Defense

Governors Attempt Interoperability Solution as Feds Falter

Article excerpt

* Six states are being asked to design new projects to help first responders communicate with each other more effectively during disasters.

Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Massachusetts, New York and Washington will come up with new ideas to tackle this ongoing problem, said the National Governors Association's center for best practices.

States continue to wresde with problems linking their first responders. In many cases, different jurisdictions use different communication systems. This causes difficulties when wide-scale disasters strike. The public safety interoperability communications policy academy, under the auspices of the National Governors Association, will give states the chance to work with a faculty of government officials, researchers and other experts.

Some states may try to involve more local responders in statewide decisions on interoperability, said Erin Lee, the center's program director. This might include police and fire departments and paramedics.

Other states may create a memorandum of understanding among departments so they know who will make what decisions in emergency situations. Some may look at better ways to purchase equipment, she said. …

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