Approach for Developing an Interoperable Information Sharing Framework: Ensuring Future Interoperability and Data Sharing for Public Safety Communications Technology

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Author: Rob Dew, Senior Emergency Communications Technologist Advisor, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)

The public safety community has seen a boom in the pace of development and integration of technology into operational practices, driven by an underlying desire to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of public safety communications and information availability. However, this ever-growing market of new platforms and solutions does not always address the operational requirements of the public safety community, forcing trade-offs between interoperability, flexibility, security, and sustainability.

To alleviate these challenges, CISA, in partnership with SAFECOM and the National Council of Statewide Interoperability Coordinators (NCSWIC), established the Information Sharing Framework Task Force (ISFTF). CISA engaged the ISFTF to develop the Approach for Developing an Interoperable Information Sharing Framework report. This report explains the ongoing development of an Information Sharing Framework (ISF) to inform and guide the transition to a common information exchange approach. Public safety agencies can adopt the ISF to make their technology and communications ecosystem more interoperable, thereby enhancing first responder access to the timely and relevant information needed to save lives and protect communities.

The ISF is intended to be a living document that can be scaled to include additional technologies as they are developed and integrate other key federal efforts such as the SAFECOM Interoperability Continuum, National Emergency Communications Plan (NECP), and the Next Generation First Responder (NGFR) Integration Handbook.

Information sharing systems will play a critical role for the future of data integration in the public safety communications ecosystem. CISA will continue to address the challenges presented by the rapid technology advancements in the public safety communications ecosystem through efforts such as the ISF until near real-time situational awareness is achieved and sustained.

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