1. #1
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    Default Interoperability questions

    Ok, forgive me for maybe sounding a little less educated about my departments communications system than the next guy. That being said, we're looking to fund a purchase of a new base station as our current one (which might be older than even me) was recently diagnosed as only putting out 5% of what it's supposed to be...yikes!
    Anyway, of course the dangers to firefighter safety as well as general hazards to the community as a whole will be amongst the arguements proposed.

    As far as Interoperability is concerned...I need a little help on this one. It still seems to be only a catch phrase. Outside of being able to effectively communicate with neighboring towns (everybody in our district uses similar fireground channels - and has for numerous years now), I'm having trouble determining a good definition. Whether we can talk as clear or far...well that is part of our current problem.

    I guess I just need a clear cut definition of the term if I'm gonna use it as part of my proposal.

    Thanks

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    Ok, I think I am up to this task, even without my first cup of coffee...Interoperability as defined by Merriam-Webster's Dict. is as follows "Ability of a system (such as a weapons system) to work with or use parts or equipment of another system." It goes beyond being able to just talk to your neighboring fire departments.

    What about your sheriff's department? What about them being able to hear you? What about when you are on the scene and you need to communicate from within a structure and you're operating at 5%? Often that means you may not be able to get beyond a structure or basement, and still communicate effectively both with everyone on the ground and Communications.

    Interoperability involves safety of your Firefighters in every aspect of the word. If you don't know where they are, and they don't know when to exit a burning structure, due to lack of communications or poor communications, then you have a receipt for disaster.

    I hope this helps you, if you need more suggestions, please just ask!
    Alana Tomlin Denton
    Freelance Grant Writer/Consultant

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    ... and if I might add to dixiechicknc's statement, think "mutual aid" but not just with your own department or other fire departments. You have to think about law enforcement, EMS, EMA, state and federal authouities who might be involved in a disaster in your area. You also need to be up on SAFECOM and P-25 APCO standards, as they are the requirements for any communications equipment under AFG.
    Kurt Bradley
    Public Safety Grants Consultant

    "Never Trade Skill for Luck"

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