NPSTC Updates Interoperability Best Practices Report
Monday, June 18, 2018 | Comments

The National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC) updated its report, “Best Practices for Public Safety Interoperable Communications.”

When a fire rages out of control or when flood waters rise, saving lives requires a coordinated response. Public-safety response to incidents large and small is increasingly complex and often requires different jurisdictions and disciplines to communicate with one another. Interoperable radio communications is the backbone of emergency response.

NPSTC developed a set of communications interoperability best practices, first released in January 2017. The updated May report was initiated by a request following the tragic deaths of 19 wildland firefighters in the state of Arizona, but also by other incidents including mass shootings in Las Vegas and Florida, wildfires, and several natural disasters such as Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.

NPSTC researched best practices that ranged from the need for routine training on communications systems to formal agreements and policies, from using common channel names to creating change management practices, and the use of encryption and managing radio channel assignments in high-risk situations.

NPSTC’s Radio Interoperability Best Practices Working Group developed the report and is comprised of nearly 200 participants, representing the public safety, government, academia and industry communities. Each statement in the report records the best practice statement, a statement of importance, supporting elements, use cases, a migration path to meet the best practice, and how each relates to the SAFECOM Interoperability Continuum.

The full report is here.

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