Workshops seek to improve emergency communications

Posted on Jul 09 2012

The CNMI continues to make progress toward improving its emergency communications capabilities. On July 10 to 11, 2012, the CNMI Office of Homeland Security and U.S. Department of Homeland Security will hold the 2012 CNMI Statewide Communication Interoperability workshop that will bring together over 30 states and local public safety officials from across the CNMI government agencies, including representatives from the CNMI government, federal agencies, CNMI emergency responders stakeholders, and private partners. The group will meet and further implement the statewide strategic plan known as the Statewide Communication Interoperability Plan and improve statewide interoperable communications capabilities.

Emergency communications interoperability refers to the ability of emergency responders-police officers, fire personnel, and emergency medical services-to share vital voice and data information across disciplines and jurisdictions during emergency incidents.

With the support from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Office of Emergency Communications, meeting participants will discuss communications interoperability gaps and statewide initiatives to meet those gaps.

Participants will also use the meeting as an opportunity to discuss the CNMI’s strategic path forward. CNMI’s Office of Homeland Security special adviser Marvin K. Seman and the state’s SCIP working group, together with local and public safety officials, will continue to work together in the future to address first responders’ interoperable communications.

The CNMI has made significant strides in communications interoperability through such efforts as establishing memoranda of understanding to outline roles and responsibilities of all appropriate agencies with regards to interoperability; procured upgradeable P25 compliant radios for the Department of Public Safety, Tinian and Rota; Moto-Turbo interoperability radios and ongoing Motorola upgrade Astro P25 compliant for Saipan. These initiatives are included in the State’s SCIP, which aligns with OEC’s National Emergency Communication Plan-a national strategic plan for improving emergency communications capabilities. This alignment ensures the CNMI is tackling interoperable communications consistent with national policies.

“This is important that we take these initiatives, ensuring our first responders across the CNMI and government support agencies have better statewide interoperability,” said Jordan Lee I. Kosam, chief of Ports Police and the chairman of CNMI SCIP. “ The CNMI SCIP’s long-term goal is to have all government agencies [and] private partners be able to talk to one another during incidents or any significant event.”

During an emergency response incident, voice and data communications are essential to the success of an operation. Through continued efforts such as these, the CNMI is improving its ability to respond to incidents of all varieties. (OHS)

OHS Dayao
This post is published under the Contributing Author. He/she does not normally work for Saipan Tribune but contributes for a specific topic or series.

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