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Public Safety & Industry Volunteers Needed: CITIG & NPSTC Announce New Bi-National Cross Border Communications Working Group

CITIG and NPSTC are seeking volunteers to serve on a new working group to study cross border voice and data communications between the U.S. and Canada.

This Working Group will provide input and peer review on a comprehensive report that will detail the current state of cross border interoperability, including:

  • Overview of current state of cross border interoperability in the U.S. and Canada
  • A review of the current and forward looking regulatory environment
  • A statement regarding problems and barriers to voice and data interoperability
  • An overview of existing cross border interoperability projects
  • A list of best practices for technology, policy and operations
  • Initial recommendations based on the SAFECOM Interoperability Continuum lanes

NPSTC and CITIG have spent the last year collecting a large amount of information and reports which will form the basis for this document.

  • The Working Group needs input from volunteers in these specific areas:
  • Canadian and U.S. first responders who work along the border
  • Federal, State/Provincial, Tribal and local agency representatives
  • Operational, Technical and Policy level representatives
  • Law Enforcement, Fire/Rescue and EMS/Paramedics representatives

The Working Group will meet by teleconference every two weeks with a goal of having a draft report ready for presentation at CITIG’s Canada-U.S. Bi-National Cross Border Interoperability Workshop scheduled for October 20-22, 2014 in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

If you are interested in participating in this Working Group, please sign up using the NPSTC Volunteer Registration Form at http://npstc.org/joinToParticipate.jsp.

This group will begin meeting by teleconference in August. Please sign up by Friday, August 8th to receive the meeting notices and background materials.

Registration and Search for Exhibitors and Sponsors in Full Swing for the Canada-US Bi-National Cross Border Interoperability Workshop

Join us in Windsor, Ontario from October 20 to 22, 2014 as the Canada-U.S. Bi-National Cross-Border Interoperability Workshop will focus on the frontline to address gaps on key voice and data interoperability issues facing today's public safety sector. The focus on information exchange, topic-specific discussion and interactive break-outs aims to support and promote the transfer of best practices and experience, and the development of a more unified approach to public safety interoperability between nations.

The Workshop itself will feature hands-on sessions designed to help delegates gain an understanding of, or work toward making progress on, key issues, including:

  • Cross-border interoperability successes and remaining challenges
  • Resolving spectrum issues -- land mobile radio and broadband
  • FirstNet and the Canadian Public Safety Broadband Network: Ensuring they work together
  • The Future: Next Generation (NG) 9-1-1 and its impact on Border Communities
  • Cross-border interoperability planning
  • Trends in interoperability technology, including both voice and data related issues
  • Situational awareness, common/user defined operating pictures, precision information environments, GIS systems, blue force tracking and location based services in cross-border situations
  • Social Media for Emergency Management (#SMEM)
  • Standards including the National Information Exchange Model

The preliminary agenda will be released in the next week or so. We will also be activating a "Bi-National Cross Border Communications" Working Group with NPSTC that is studying voice and data communications interoperability along the U.S./Canadian border. More information, including how to sign up will be provided in the near future.

See our event listing for full details.

CITIG 8: Registration Open, Exhibiting/Sponsoring Opportunities Available and More!

CITIG 8Join us for Canada’s premiere communications interoperability event from November 30 to December 3, 2014 in Ottawa. The Eighth Canadian Public Safety Interoperability Workshop, widely known as CITIG Eight, will again break new ground on key voice and data interoperability issues facing today’s public safety sector. The focus on information exchange, topic-specific discussion and interactive break-outs aims to support and promote the transfer of best practices and experience, and the development of a more unified approach to public safety interoperability across the country, between nations and internationally.

Want to attend? This event sells out consistently, so secure your spot today! Want to be an exhibitor or sponsor? Download the recently released Contribution & Exhibit Package. In either case, do it early -- all past workshops have sold out!

Full details on our event page.

New AEA Mobile App

On May 4, Alberta launched the Alberta Emergency Alert mobile application. This is a big step forward for emergency alerting in Alberta and even across Canada. It helps people be aware of events in their area on their smart phone. You can access the link for the alerting mobile application along with a list of FAQs at http://emergencyalert.alberta.ca/content/about/signup.html.

The app has the following features:

  • allows alerts to be delivered based on current location ("where you are");
  • receive alerts for preselected areas ("where loved ones may be located");
  • allow the user to change the alert tone for informational alerts; and
  • links to the AEMA emergency preparedness website with details of the 72 hour Emergency kit.

The Android version is now available for downloading. The iOS platform (Apple) is under development and will be released as it becomes available in the near future.  

NPSTC Radio Programming Capability Requirements (PCR) Announces Critical Programming Tool

Of great interest to anyone who programs P25 Land Mobile Radios, the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC) Radio PCR Working Group has completed a radio Programming and Management tool (PAM).  This tool uses an Excel spreadsheet to capture specific P25 radio programming data fields.  Radio programming is very complex with many data fields that assign frequencies, IDs, features, and options. A slight error during the programming process will prohibit the radio from accessing a trunking system or conventional channel when the radio is used. This issue impacts public safety agencies using radio equipment from multiple vendors.  It also creates a huge safety issue at the scene of a major incident when large quantities of radios need to be programmed for mutual aid use. To read the full report and download the tool visit NPSTC's Web site at these links:

11th Annual Canadian Risk and Hazards Network Symposium

The 11th Annual Canadian Risk and Hazards Network Symposium takes place Wednesday October 22 to Friday October 24, 2014 at the Eaton Chelsea in downtown Toronto. With the theme "Must Today’s Risk Be Tomorrow’s Disaster," the conference will enhance the understanding of, and providing tools for, the development of comprehensive programs to mitigate, prepare for, respond to and recover from all types of disasters - natural, technological or human-induced.

CRHNet is a not-for-profit organization that was established in 2003 in response to a growing demand to promote and strengthen disaster risk reduction and emergency management in Canada. CRHNet creates an environment in which the hazards research, education and emergency management practitioner communities can effectively share knowledge and innovative approaches that reduce disaster vulnerability.

Partnership/Sponsorship opportunities at the 11th annual Canadian Risk and Hazards Network Symposium are now available. Visit http://www.crhnet.ca/symposium-2014 for full details.

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Event Calendar

109th CACP Annual Conference Fairmont Empress Hotel
Sunday, August 24, 2014 - Wednesday, August 27, 2014
All Day
Fire-Rescue Canada 2014 TBC
Sunday, September 14, 2014 - Thursday, September 18, 2014
All Day
Canada-US Bi-National Cross Border Interoperability Workshop Caesars Windsor
Monday, October 20, 2014 - Wednesday, October 22, 2014
5:00 PM - 4:30 PM
11th Annual Canadian Risk and Hazards Network Symposium Eaton Chelsea, Toronto
Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - Friday, October 24, 2014
All Day
APCO Canada Annual Conference Fairmont Hotel Vancouver
Monday, November 03, 2014 - Thursday, November 06, 2014
All Day
The Eighth Canadian Public Safety Interoperability Workshop The Fairmont Château Laurier
Sunday, November 30, 2014 - Wednesday, December 03, 2014
5:00 PM - 12:00 PM
Eastern Daylight Time

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