Interoperability is Key to Effective Emergency Communications

quote: When it comes to communicating emergency information to and among first responders, interoperability is a problem. In some cases, emergency responders cannot talk to some parts of their own agencies—let alone communicate with agencies in neighboring cities, counties, or states. And when time is of the essence, the results can be catastrophic. But there are other factors that can impede response, and we are keenly focused on addressing each of these with technological solutions.

The 9/11 Commission Report speaks at great length about the issues the lack of interoperability caused. As a result of the Commission Report, there was a significant reorganization of response capabilities, which included the creation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and, soon after, the Science and Technology Directorate (S&T). We’ve been on the case ever since, working for and with responders to better understand and deliver on their technology needs.

While all these organizations are working to find a solution, we have multiple efforts underway to support new technologies to help correct for these gaps. For instance, our First Responder Capability portfolio and Technology Centers work with responders across the country on communications solutions. But the challenges are formidable, as jurisdictions manage their own technology across 6,000 911 call centers nationwide.

Wireless: The Wave of the Future

Let’s face it.