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NCJ Number: 194352 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Emergency Communications: The Quest for Interoperability in the United States and Europe
Author(s): Viktor Mayer-Schonberger
Corporate Author: Belfer Ctr for Science and International Affairs
United States of America

Taubman Ctr for State and Local Government
United States of America
Date Published: March 2002
Page Count: 48
Sponsoring Agency: Belfer Ctr for Science and International Affairs
Cambridge, MA 02138
Executive Session on Domestic Preparedness
Cambridge, MA 02138
Taubman Ctr for State and Local Government
Cambridge, MA 02138
US Dept of Justice, Office of Justice Programs
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 1999-MU-CX-0008
Publication Number: BCSIA-2002-7; ESDP-2002-3
Sale Source: Executive Session on Domestic Preparedness
Belfer Ctr for Science and International Affairs
John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This document focuses on the importance of emergency communications systems in the event of a disaster.
Abstract: Interagency communications is one of the weakest links in emergency management. Interoperability is “the ability of public safety personnel to communicate by radio with staff from other agencies, on demand and in real time.” Although public safety agencies have used radio communications systems for many decades, most of these systems have been limited in reach and enabled communication within a group or agency, but not across agencies. Three steps are required for interoperability: inventing the appropriate technology, setting common standards and frequencies, and providing adequate funding. Enhanced Federal Communications Commission (FCC) leadership is needed in defining frequencies and standards and a clearly formulated and thoroughly executed comprehensive funding strategy. Federal, State, and local governments should reassess their priorities and decide to fund a substantial part of the cost of transition from current systems to interoperable ones. Policymakers could benefit from understanding the spectrum of solutions already tried and their successes and failures. The activities in the United States and Europe over the last decade are analyzed to solve the problem of interoperability of public safety organization communications systems. Over the last few years, Europeans have been ahead of the United States in implementing inoperability. In examining the European strategy, the ingredients for success are strong agency leadership, intentional risk taking, and public entrepreneurship. Agencies need to pick technology based on future requirements, not present needs. U.S. policymakers have to select a strategy based on the available means. Changed budget priorities as a result of the war against terrorism may make it feasible to establish more substantial Federal and State-sponsored interoperability funds than before. 108 notes
Main Term(s): Civil defense communications; Emergency communications
Index Term(s): Communications; Contingency planning; Disaster procedures; Emergency operations centers; Emergency procedures; Police emergency procedures
Note: Downloaded April 26, 2002
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