"An imperfect plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow."
General George Patton
The above quote emerged as an overarching theme at the Public Safety Communication Summits. In all of the crisis situations presented, those with a plan in place always fared better than those without. It doesn't have to be a perfect plan, but there does need to be a plan.
The statewide plan for Washington is known as the Statewide Communication Interoperability Plan (SCIP) (pdf 2.9mb). Alignment with the SCIP (pdf 2.9mb), the National Emergency Communication Plan and the Statewide Homeland Security Strategic Plan (pdf 1.74mb) will help increase your chances of securing state and federal funding.
We have developed Seven Steps to Achieving Interoperability (pdf 104kb) to help illustrate the process to achieve interoperability. It is essential that policymakers and other non-technical professionals understand interoperability and if the discussions become technical too early in the process, necessary players may remove themselves from the discussions.
The seven steps are:
Included here are several documents and links you may find will aid in your efforts as you follow the seven steps to achieve interoperability:
- Governance: Creating a Charter for a Multi-Agency Communications Interoperability Committee (pdf 954kb)
This document contains a very helpful template and offers questions for you to consider.
- Interoperability Continuum Brochure
(pdf 1.38mb) / Interoperability Continuum Graphic
Homeland Security’s five-page brochure on SAFECOM’s interoperability continuum defines the five elements of interoperability and illustrates the five preparedness levels.
- Enahancing Communications Interoperability (pdf 707kb)
More information from SAFECOM and Homeland Security regarding establishing governance.
- Can we Talk? (pdf 407kb)
Provides and Introduction and an overview of interoperability
- Coordination and Partnerships Guide (pdf 757kb)
Use this Awareness Guide as a tool to help you move interoperability forward.
- The National Incident Management System (NIMS) provides proven strategies you can adopt so you do not have to reinvent the wheel.
- You may also wish to visit the NIMS Tools and Templates page for more help.
- SAFECOM’s Web site offers an array of information and helpful tools.
- Interoperable Communications for Planned Events (pdf 1.37mb)
This document offers helpful tips on establishing and implementing interoperability training.
- System of Systems Approach (pdf 5.48mb)
The SIEC has adopted a system of systems approach for Washington state which allows for lower costs and timelier implementation.
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