Author: The Office of Emergency Communications
On November 29, the Office of Emergency Communications (OEC) Deputy Director Chris Essid shared key lessons learned on emergency communications governance with leading Canadian public safety stakeholders during the Tenth Canadian Public Safety Interoperability Workshop, also known as the Communications Interoperability Technology Interest Group (CITIG), in Vancouver, British Columbia. OEC and the National Governors Association (NGA) gathered lessons from several recent co-sponsored Policy Academies on Enhancing Emergency Communications Interoperability.
The CITIG workshop addressed key voice and data interoperability issues facing public safety users, with a special focus on broadband. Much of the discussion centered on planning for the Canadian public safety broadband network and the need for strong governance. The Canadians are looking to the United States for experience and advice based on the evolution of the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network and the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet). In addition to the Policy Academy findings, OEC shared several resources which the Canadians may tailor to their unique needs and requirements. These resources include the 2015 Emergency Communications Governance Guide and the LMR Trio (LMR 101, Part 1; LMR for Decision Makers Part II; and LMR for Project Managers, Part III). Materials from CITIG may be accessed at https://www.dropbox.com/sh/b2axvettbyppma8/AABwa43OBuQUeKIprdxWx0QSa?dl=0
As co-chair of the Canada-US Communications Interoperability Working Group (CANUS CIWG) and Public Safety Canada, OEC’s cross border interoperability work with Canada continues. Established by President Bush in 2001 through the Beyond the Border bi-national agreement, CANUS CIWG focuses on border interoperability challenges at the technical, operational, and policy levels. The CANUS CIWG annual in-person meeting is tentatively planned for late June 2017 in Buffalo, New York. For more information regarding OEC’s participation in CITIG or CANUS CIWG, please contact Ted Lawson at Edward.Lawson@hq.dhs.gov.