On March 29, 2018, the Office of Emergency Communications (OEC) hosted a kickoff meeting with the State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Officials Governance Guide Working Group in preparation for updating the Emergency Communications Governance Guide for State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Officials (SLTT Governance Guide.) The working group is comprised of stakeholders from SAFECOM, National Council of Statewide Interoperability Coordinators (NCSWIC), and Tribal entities. These members will be an integral asset to the development of the 2018 SLTT Governance Guide revision. In comparison to the 2015 SLTT Governance Guide, the 2018 SLTT Governance Guide will provide more hands-on resources and best practices developed by the working group. The mission of the working group is to create a user-friendly tool for public safety professionals at all levels of government. The goal of the SLTT Governance Guide is to provide information on technological changes in the Emergency Communications Ecosystem. The guide will include, but not limited to addressing Governance for emergency communications within the context of the following topics:
- 911, Enhanced 9-1-1 (E911), Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG911)
- FirstNet and broadband providers
- Cybersecurity andencrypted communications
- Increased usage of telemetry (i.e., sensors) to inform alerts, warnings, and notifications
- National Emergency Communications Plan (NECP) update
- Proposed changes to the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and Incident Command System (ICS)
- Successful approaches for garnering support from Public Safety Personnel, Emergency Management Leadership, and Elected Officials
- The need for standard operating procedures
New features to the 2018 SLTT Governance Guide include, but not limited to:
- Governance body improvement utilizing the OEC Interoperable Communications Technical Assistance Program (ICTAP) Governance Technical Assistance (TA) offerings
- Statewide Communication Interoperability Plans (SCIP) and Enhanced SCIP development
- Grants applications
- NCSWIC and SAFECOM efforts and resources
- Tribal Emergency Management successes, communications capabilities, activities, funding, partnerships, and challenges to operability/interoperability and public safety
What is the OEC? Established in 2007, OEC, through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), supports and promotes communications used by emergency responders and government officials to keep America safe, secure, and resilient. The office leads the Nation’s operable and interoperable public safety and national security and emergency preparedness (NS/EP) communications efforts. OEC provides training, coordination, tools, and guidance to help its federal, state, local, tribal, territorial and industry partners develop their emergency communications capabilities. OEC’s programs and services coordinate emergency communications planning, preparation and evaluation, to ensure safer, better-prepared communities nationwide. For more information click OEC.
What is SAFECOM? SAFECOM was formed in 2001 after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 as part of the Presidential E-Government Initiative to improve public safety interoperability, allowing emergency responders to communicate effectively before, during, and after emergencies and disasters. SAFECOM’s mission is to improve designated emergency response providers’ inter-jurisdictional and inter-disciplinary emergency communications interoperability through collaboration with emergency responders across Federal, State, local, tribal, and territorial governments, and international borders. For more information click SAFECOM.
What is NCSWIC? Established in July 2010 by DHS OEC, NCSWIC supports Statewide Interoperability Coordinators (SWICs) from the 56 states and territories, by developing products and services to assist them with leveraging their relationships, professional knowledge, and experience with public safety partners involved in interoperable communications at all levels of government. For more information click NCSWIC.
Why is this information important to SAFECOM and NCSWIC members?
Effective governance has been a tremendous challenge that emergency communications officials face. Due to the communications landscape continuously evolving; creating a guide that can reflect recommended best practices from across the United States can assist with the growth and maturity of a variety of governance structures. The goal of the SLTT Governance Guide is to implement a method of an effective emergency communications governance. Although some practices will works better than others, the goal for this guide is to provide a broad approach so that the emergency communication officials can apply recommendations that are fit for that specific environment. With effective governance comes the ability to coordinate and improve emergency communication interoperability on all levels of government. The mission is to serve as a tool to resolve future challenges that can be used for years to come.