Emergency responders—public safety, and as necessary public services and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO)—need to share vital data and voice information across disciplines and jurisdictions to successfully respond to day-to-day incidents and large-scale emergencies. Many people assume that emergency response agencies across the Nation already have interoperable communications. However, emergency responders cannot talk to some parts of their own agencies—let alone communicate with agencies in neighboring cities, counties, or states.
Developed with practitioner input from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s (CISA) SAFECOM program, the SAFECOM Interoperability Continuum is designed to assist emergency response agencies and policy makers to plan and implement interoperability solutions for data and voice communications. This tool identifies five critical success elements that must be addressed to achieve a sophisticated interoperability solution: governance, standard operating procedures (SOPs)/standard operating guidelines (SOGs) and field operations guides (FOGs), technology, training and exercises, and usage of interoperable communications. Jurisdictions across the Nation can use the Interoperability Continuum to track progress in strengthening interoperable communications.