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Interoperability is the ability of first responders to communicate effectively across multiple jurisdictions and radio systems when needed. While it is one of the most fundamental needs of our emergency responders, it has also been one of the most daunting challenges to overcome. From the aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing, the attacks of September 11, 2001, or the response to Hurricane Katrina – first responders suffered from serious gaps in emergency communications. These gaps in communication caught everyone’s attention, and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) estimates that, since then, more than $5 Billion in Federal grant funds have been spent on State and local communications interoperability.
Training for Every State
Lafayette Group has been at the forefront of supporting public safety on emergency communications efforts for more than a decade. From Communication Unit Leader training to governance by-laws and charter development, our subject matter experts bring comprehensive, real world experience to these efforts. We have created many of the planning documents used by responders today to coordinate communications. These include Tactical Interoperable Communications Plans (TICP), Statewide Communication Interoperability Plans (SCIP), and FEMA State Plans. When DHS was asked to provide assistance, Lafayette Group has been sent to provide on-site training, exercises and technical assistance in every State and territory.
A Thousand Missions Accomplished
Lafayette Group has completed more than one thousand separate visits to State and local agencies, covering training, exercises, and technical assistance. Our policy experts have helped DHS and other Federal clients set the vision, develop the approaches, and implement the key initiatives that have addressed public safety interoperability. From the earliest DHS support for interoperability in the largest cities, known as RapidCom and later Tactical Interoperability Scorecards; to grantee assistance for the Public Safety Interoperability Communications program (PSIC); to work on the National Emergency Communications Plan (NECP); and today in coordination with FirstNet on public safety broadband – Lafayette Group continues to lead the way on emergency communications.