SAFECOM Membership Spotlight: Mr. Keith Victor, SAFECOM At-Large (Connecticut Capitol Region Council of Government)
SAFECOM, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s (CISA) premier public safety communications advisory council, is made-up of public safety stakeholders with a diverse set of experiences and backgrounds. Mr. Keith Victor, of the Connecticut Capitol Region Council of Government, offered to share some of his insights about SAFECOM and the direction of the public safety communications community.
Mr. Victor has been a SAFECOM member since 2018. He is the Communication Unit Leader (COML) for the Connecticut Fire Rescue Disaster Plan as well as the Region III Emergency Support Function (ESF)-2 Representative for the Connecticut State Interoperability Committee. He has over 20 years of experience in public safety communications and over 50 years of experience in fire services.
CISA (C): Mr. Victor what drew you to joining SAFECOM and what is your role as a SAFECOM member?
A: I’m a member of the Technical Committee and I have been a CISA Lafayette Group COML and Communication Unit Technician (COMT) Instructor for over 15 years. I wish to pass on my knowledge of communications since I have been involved since the beginning when the first meeting was in Los Angeles, CA. I wrote and published the CT Fire Service newsletter, “The Alarm Room News” for over twenty (20) years. My theme was “Knowledge is of no value unless shared with others.”
C: What SAFECOM committees and projects are you currently working on and what projects are you most excited for?
A: I am currently working on the Tech Policy Committee and I am most excited about my assistance with the West Hartford, CT bi-directional amplifier project, featured in the Joint SAFECOM and National Council of Statewide Interoperability Coordinators (NCSWIC) Tech Policy Committee’s Infrastructure and Obstructions to Radio Propagation document. The bi-directional amplifier is a signal-boosting solution designed to enhance in-building radio frequency (RF) signal coverage for public safety radios. These systems provide buildings with reliable signals for Frist Responders.
C: Is there a SAFECOM resource that you find useful, please explain why?
A: Relationships. I learn every time we meet and every class I conduct.
C: What is the biggest public safety or emergency communications issue currently or on the horizon?
A: Egos and succession planning. Due to many retirements, a lot of knowledge is leaving, I was the last person of the state executive committee that was still around and now I’m retired at the age of 76. With the lack of proper succession planning, emergency communications technical expertise and real-world lessons will fail to be passed on to future generations of emergency responders.
C: Tell us about your experiences working in the public safety community. How has the communications landscape changed over the years? How do you see the landscape changing in the next few years?
A: The biggest change is the lack of use of the credentialed Communications Unit resources (Communications Unit Technician (COMT) and COML). I’m hopeful that emergency communications professionals will start leveraging these resources more in the future.