Victoria Workshop Recap
On December 5 to 8, 2010, the Fourth Canadian Public Safety Interoperability Workshop in Victoria welcomed over 240 delegates — most were responders from across Canada, but delegates and speakers also included representatives from the U.S., the U.K. and New Zealand. The most notable outcome of the Workshop involved the creation of the Tri-Services Special Purpose Committee on 700 MHz Broadband for Mission Critical Public Safety Data (in direct response to Industry Canada’s recent announcement of public consultations on the use of the 700 MHz band by commercial mobile services).
The Committee was struck jointly by CACP, Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs (CAFC), Emergency Medical Services Chiefs of Canada (EMSCC) to monitor and advise on the 700 MHz issue, inform stakeholders, identify responder spectrum needs and formulate a response to the Industry Canada consultation which closes on February 28, 2011. While the associations have collaborated in the past, establishment of a joint committee is unprecedented and reflects the critical nature of the challenge. Since the announcement, many groups representing public safety, utilities and industry have come forward to assist. In fact, during the announcement at the Workshop, over 90 delegates volunteered their services in preparation of a consultation response. More information is available at www.action700.ca.
The National Workshop also highlighted significant progress on many other fronts including:
- the National Strategy for Communications Interoperability and accompanying action plans;
- a way forward to advance National Data Quality Standards; and
- a look at emerging issues like in-building 3D location for responders, to name a few.
Special thanks go to CACP, CAFC, EMSCC, CPRC and other key partners that helped make the Workshop a success.
The date has been set for the fifth National Workshop. We hope you can join us from December 4 to 7, 2011 in Ottawa, Ontario.
Associations announce the formation of Tri-Services Special Purpose Committee on 700 MHz Broadband for Public Safety Data!
On Wednesday, December 8, 2010 during the Fourth Canadian Public Safety Interoperability Workshop, the presidents of Canada’s three major associations representing police, fire and emergency medical services announced the creation of the Tri-Services Special Purpose Committee on 700 MHz Broadband for Mission Critical Public Safety Data. The creation of the Committee is in direct response to Industry Canada’s recent announcement of public consultations on the use of the 700 MHz band by commercial mobile services. See www.action700.ca!
Consultations Begin on Issue that will affect Mission Critical Data Communications for Public Safety for Years to Come!
On December 1, 2010, Industry Canada initiated consultation on what is known as 700 MHz band spectrum. This particular band of spectrum represents a once in a lifetime opportunity to enable mission critical data communications for Public Safety for years to come. The consultation closes February 28, 2011. Download the consultation document here, or visit the Spectrum Management Web site. More information on this critical issue will follow!
Regional Forum in Pembroke Well Received
About 50 people (the majority being area first responders) attended the Eastern Ontario-Western Quebec CITIG Regional Forum in Pembroke, Ontario on November 23. Hosted by the County of Renfrew and CITIG, the Forum featured presentations on emerging issues and facilitated sessions on collaboration on interoperability and on building a regional interoperability plan. Materials presented at the Forum are available for download on the member portion of the site under Past Meetings.
Join PTSC Online
PTSC-Online (http://www.ptsc-online.ca/) is a Canadian virtual on line community, founded to encourage improvements to emergency management, business continuity and critical infrastructure protection programs. It does that by providing tools for sharing information and collaboration about these programs among stakeholders. Check out the latest posting by Edward Myers of Frontline Security Magazine discussing the need forInteroperability Standards as discussed at the recent CATA First Responder Vendor Outreach Forum in Halifax.
2011 International Conference on Innovative Solutions for Law Enforcement
The 2011 International Conference on Innovative Solutions for Law Enforcement will be held on April 28-29 at the Hyatt Regency Philadelphia at Penn's Landing, and includes a presentation by CITIG. Click here for details.
Emergency Planning Exercises for Your Organization
The Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, is now providing, free for your download and use, a series of Tabletop Exercise presentations as a tool to advance your organization’s continuity, preparedness and resiliency. Each exercise takes your team through a realistic disaster scenario and facilitates a discussion of how your organization would plan, protect, respond and recover. Each includes full instructor’s notes so you can gather a facilitator and a team of participants, and self-facilitate the exercise internally.
The first two exercises, for a major Hurricane and rail Chemical Accident, also feature simulated TV news videos suggesting exercise-focused local reporting of the disasters. This feature adds a sense of realism and helps to motivate interactive discussion. The exercises typically take 2-4 hours from start to finish and can be customized where noted in the facilitator’s notes to meet your needs. Click here to find 2010 Tabletop Exercises free downloads.
Get your copy of Emergency Communications Forum
Formerly the Emergency Communications Quarterly, the Emergency Communications Forum (ECF) is the latest evolution of Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Emergency Communications (OEC)’s stakeholder outreach efforts. The ECF engages and informs emergency responders; policy makers; and Federal, State, local, and tribal officials about issues and events that directly affect everyday nationwide emergency communications. The November issue features a story on the September Cross-Border Workshop in Windsor. Download it here.
Fourth Canadian Public Safety Interoperability Workshop now SOLD OUT!
For the fourth consecutive year, the CITIG National Workshop is sold out. Thanks to all who registered — you will undoubtedly make this year’s Workshop the best yet. Click here for the updated agenda. For those who are unable to attend, be sure to check this Web site for updates throughout the Workshop.
MASAS Outreach and Planning Session
The GeoConnections Program and the Centre for Security Science invite you to a national Multi-Agency Situational Awareness System (MASAS) outreach and planning session the afternoon of December 8, following the Fourth Canadian Public Safety Interoperability Workshop: A CITIG National Forum. The Canadian Interoperability Technology Interest Group (CITIG) has graciously offered to host this special session. Click here for details.
Canadian Innovation Commercialization Program Announced
The Canadian Innovation Commercialization Program (CICP) is a $40 million program that aims to promote innovation and support the development of Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) in Canada. This pilot program (concludes in early 2013) will provide funding for purchasing and testing of pre-commercialized innovative goods and services by Government of Canada departments. If you are a Canadian business with an innovative technology that has not yet been sold commercially, visitwww.buyandsell.gc.ca/innovation for information about the Call for Proposal which closes November 4, 2010.
Draft Agenda Released for Fourth Canadian Public Safety Interoperability Workshop
Only few exhibit spaces are left and registrations are filling up fast for the Fourth Canadian Public Safety Interoperability Workshop from December 5 to 8, 2010 in beautiful Victoria, B.C. Please register early as we have sold out both delegate/exhibit space all three previous events. The official agenda will be release soon. Download the draft agenda. Key presentations include:
- Public Safety Canada on the Canadian Communications Interoperability Plan;
- NIST on P25 Updates and related issues;
- Industry Canada on 700 MHz and Broadband updates;
- Province-wide Land Mobile Radio Projects - an Update;
- New Zealand Police - Interoperability Challenges and Successes;
- Department of Homeland Security on In Building 3D Location and Tracking;
- Incident Command Systems - A National Approach with International Linkages;
- City of Seattle on Building a Public Safety Wireless Broadband Network; and
- P3 Canada on Public Private Partnerships - An Alternative Funding Model.
Visit http://www.cacp.ca/index/eventscontent?contentId=851 to register on line.
CPRC Call for Proposals — Funding Available to Address National First Responder and Security Priorities
Through the federal government’s Canadian Police Research Centre, up to $1.5 million will be available for science and technology (S&T) projects to strengthen Tri-Services (police, fire and emergency medical services) agencies to produce new knowledge and technologies that enhance public safety and security communities. Improved interoperability among the Tri-Services is listed as an investment priority. The CPRC actively seeks interested partners, collaborators, and stakeholders from academia, industry, government departments and the Tri-Services for its projects. The project proposal process is open, transparent and competitive.
For details, please consult the MERX Canadian Public Tenders Web site at www.merx.com and insert the term “CPRC” in the search box or http://www.css.drdc-rddc.gc.ca/cprc/proj-prop/index-eng.asp.
UPDATED: FCC Spectrum Summit
The FCC will host a summit meeting on October 21 from 10:00 AM to 2:45 PM ET on spectrum issues related to mobile broadband implementation. The meeting will include participation from leaders in government, industry, academic and financial sectors. The event is open to the public, but the Commission advises that registration is limited to available seating capacity. Individuals who are interested in attending should register by e-mail. The address is spectrumsummit@FCC.gov. Deadline for registration is Oct. 19, 2010. There will also be a live Webcast of the event which can be viewed atwww.fcc.gov/live. Visit www.fcc.gov/live for the official agenda and other details.
Post Halifax Forum Updates
The third Annual Vendor Outreach Forum in Halifax was an unqualified success. Materials from the Forum will be released soon, but in the meantime, please check out these on-site interviews with vendors who participated for their on-the-spot impressions regarding the Forum:
- Eric Moore, Manager, LightSquared as he talks about the benefits of participation – video link
- Jim Peter Safar, President & CEO, Inter-Op Canada & Innovation Leader as he talks about interoperability and the challenges for the tri-services, multimedia sharing platforms and the benefits of participation –video link
Click on the "Past Meeting" tab on the member portion of the site to download documents. The next Forum will be in Vancouver in November 2011 –more details on this soon.
Seventh CRHNet Symposium
The Seventh Canadian Risk and Hazards Network (CRHNet) Symposium — "Connecting with Canadians" occurs from October 27 to 29, 2010 in Fredericton, New Brunswick. Clickhere for details.
Get your copy of Emergency Communications Forum
Formerly the Emergency Communications Quarterly, theEmergency Communications Forum (ECF) is the latest evolution of Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Emergency Communications (OEC)’s stakeholder outreach efforts. The ECF engages and informs emergency responders; policy makers; and Federal, State, local, and tribal officials about issues and events that directly affect everyday nationwide emergency communications. Download it here.
2010 National Security Forum
Consider attending 2010 National Security Forum on October 12, 2010 at the Westin in Ottawa. Presented by the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries (CADSI), with the collaboration and support of Public Safety Canada, the forum will foster a dialogue between and amongst some of Canada’s top stakeholders in the public safety and security community. (See flyer.)
Learn of the challenges and solutions on a host of public safety topics from subject matter experts, and network with senior government officials and industry executives in a unique environment. Forum topics include:
- Border Security
- Arctic Sovereignty
- Disaster Management
- Information Sharing
To register, visit www.defenceandsecurity.ca or call 866-786-4661 (613-235-5337 in the Ottawa Area).
Eastern Ontario-Western Quebec Regional Interoperability Meeting NOW on November 23
Faced with a series of key scheduling conflicts, the County of Renfrew and CITIG have rescheduled the Eastern Ontario-Western Quebec Regional Interoperability Meeting to November 23, 2010. We apologize for any inconvenience. Click on the following links for Event information and Registration.
Download the Fall Issue of HazNet
The HazNet Newsletter is produced by CRHNet, 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. Page 14 features information on the CITIG National Workshop in December. Get your copy HazNet here.
Volunteers Need Interoperability Too
On September 11, 2010, The Canadian Volunteer Fire Services Association (CVFSA) held its annual conference in Ottawa. In addition to feraturing CITIG’s work and a greater commitment to advancing interoperability (seePresident’s Report), Harold A. Conrad was regognized for his 40-plus years of volunteer service. Congratulations Harold. Visit the CVFSA Web sitefor more details.
A Must Read -- Report on Black Saturday
The bushfires around Victoria, Australia on 7 February 2009 (known as Black Saturday) caused the death of 173 people. A number of factors drove up the death and injury toll including the lack of interoperability between agencies. The 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission conducted an extensive investigation into the causes of, the preparation for, the response to and the impact of the fires that burned throughout Victoria. The final report was released July 31, 2010. Two of the report’s 25 recommendations deal directly with radio communications. Download the report here or visit the Commission’s Web site.
An Historic Week for Interoperability Efforts in Ontario
In an excellent display of cooperation, the Association of Municipal Emergency Medical Services of Ontario (AMEMSO), Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs (OAFC) and Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP) have appointed representatives to work together on a tri-services interoperability committee — the first of its kind in Ontario. Inspector Joe Maiorano, Durham Regional Police, Fire Chief Mark Diotte, Ajax Fire Department, and Chief Doug Socha of Hasting-Quinte EMS in Hastings County will be jointly leading interoperability efforts on behalf of their respective associations for the good of public safety and first responders in Ontario. CITIG will continue to support this undertaking where possible hopes to provide regular updates moving forward. UPDATE: See the OACP Web sitefor the related news release.
Third Annual First Responder Vendor Outreach Forum - RCMP CTO to Provide Keynote
The third annual First Responder Vendor Outreach Forum takes place on September 28 and 29 in the Atlantic Canada region and is headlined by an opening keynote by Michael Doucet, Chief Technology Officer for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. For the third consecutive year, CATA, CPRC and CITIG are hosting a uniquely formatted and innovative First Responder VOF. Once again, the Forum will provide ICT and advanced security vendors and First Responder/Public Safety and Security (PSS) leaders with an opportunity to engage with one another to shape the direction of industry R&D, address current issues through cooperative action and commence developing a Technology Roadmap for Canadian First Responders. Visit http://www.cata.ca/Media_and_Events/FR_VOF/AltCan/default.html for detailed information.
CRTI Call 9 Now Live!
Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) administers a Call for Proposals under the federal government's Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive (CBRNE) Research and Technology Initiative (CRTI). The Program, administered through DRDC's Centre for Security Science (CSS), is designed to strengthen, through investments in science and technology (S&T), Canada's ability to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from a CBRNE event. In CRTI Call for Proposals Call 9, there will be up to approximately $18 million available for new projects. Visit this link and search "CRTI" for full details.
Vancouver 2010 Communications Interoperability Unit Takes the 2010 CACP/Motorola Award for Excellence in Emergency Preparedness
During the CACP conference in Edmonton, the Vancouver 2010 Integrated Security Unit – Operational Communications Interoperability was awarded the CACP/Motorola Award for Excellence in Emergency Preparedness in the National Category. Specifically, the Award was presented for the groups’ radio communications strategy – a joint, synchronized effort that overcame jurisdictional, geographical, environmental, human resource and financial constraints and initiated and executed an effective communications program. CITIG was the inaugural winner in 2009. Other recipients honoured in 2010 include Le Service de securite incendie – Agglomeration de Longeuil and the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary (Quebec) Inc. in the Regional Category and the City of Richmond – Gold Exercise in the Exercise Category. Congratulations to all!
Visit this link for the latest on-line issue of NPSTC Quarterly, the newsletter of the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC). In addition to selected mentions of CITIG activities, recognition and events, you’ll find interesting articles regarding spectrum, COML, regulatory updates and more!
On Scene 2010 Dates and Location Announced
From September 20 to 22, 2010, join first responder colleagues for the third annual multi-agency training event involving Law Enforcement, Fire/Rescue and Emergency Medical Services. On Scene 2010 is for all frontline personnel. This is a chance to expand our understanding and relationships as emergency responders. We work together, let’s train together. The event takes place at RCMP "Depot" Division in Regina, Saskatchewan. Download thepreliminary scheduleof events and visit the On Scene 2010 Web Site for full details. Registration opens soon.
Privacy Security Trust (PST) 2010
The Eight Annual PST Forum takes place in Ottawa starting on August 17. Click here for details.
Maritime Provinces to Get a New Integrated Emergency Communications System
On May 10, 2010, the Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, the Honourable Bill Estabrooks, Nova Scotia Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, the Honourable Ed Doherty, New Brunswick Minister of Supply and Services, and the Honourable Doug Currie, Prince Edward Island Attorney General, announced that the Government of Canada will contribute up to $50 million through PPP Canada to support the implementation of the Maritime Radio Communications Initiative. The Governments of Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia will each contribute to construction and operational costs. Clickhere for the full press release.
Fourth Canadian Public Safety Interoperability Workshop: A CITIG National Forum
From December 5 to 8, 2010 in Victoria, British Columbia, the Fourth Canadian Public Safety Interoperability Workshop will again bring together a broad base of public safety and emergency management practitioners to develop a mutual understanding of the key voice and data - interoperability issues facing today’s public safety sector. With a focus on information exchange, topic-specific discussion and interactive break-outs, the fourth national workshop 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. Click here for more detailed event information and visit www.cacp.ca to register on line.
Industry Canada Releases Two Documents Related to the 700 MHz Public-Safety Radio System Plan
The Second Canada/U.S. Communications Interoperability Workshop Announced
The Second Canada/U.S. Communications Interoperability Workshop will be held in Windsor, Ontario from September 13 to 15, 2010. This invitation-only event will bring together a broad base of users and officials from all levels of government from both nations with an interest in cross border communications along the U.S.-Canada border. More information about this event will be posted as it becomes available.
Webinar: Doing Business with Canadian First Responders
On June 23, 2010 from 10:00 am - 12:00 noon, a special webinar will presented to provide practical advice and contacts for U.S. companies looking to do business in the police, fire, security and emergency services sector within Canada. Click here for more information.
Workshop on 21st Century Emergency Alerting
The Federal Communications Commission's (FCC's) Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (PSHSB) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA's) National Continuity Programs (NCP) will hold a workshop on 21st Century Emergency Alerting: Leveraging Multiple Technologies to Bring Alerts and Warnings to the Public on Thursday, June 10, 2010, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. For more details and Webcast information, click here.
Third Annual Vendor Outreach Forum Announced
The dates are set for September 28 and 29, 2010 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Click here for more information.
Nominations for 2010 Motorola Award Now Open!
The CACP/Motorola Award for Excellence in Emergency Preparedness has been established to recognize a standard of excellence that exemplifies the combined efforts of police, fire, and emergency medical services in preparing their agencies for any subsequent response to natural or man made disasters leading toward the contribution and dedication to the quality of life in our communities. Visit theCACP Web site for more details.
Western Border Interoperability Working Group Meeting Dates Set
This year’s Western Border Interoperability Working Group meeting, which will take place in Regina, Saskatchewan, will occur from May 11 through 13. Click herefor details.
Larry Strickling to provide keynote address at Spectrum 20/20
Lawrence E. Strickling, U.S. Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information and NTIA Head will provide the keynote address at this year’s Spectrum 20/20 on April 21, 2010 in Ottawa. Spectrum 20/20 is free of charge for employees of member organizations. However, space is limited and is going fast. Visithttp://www.spectrum2020.ca for details.
FCC to Hold Workshop on Critical Infrastructure and Information Collection
The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (Bureau) will hold a workshop on Tuesday, April 13, 2010 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. to discuss communications infrastructure and information collection. Audio/Video coverage of the meeting will be broadcast live with open captioning over the Internet from the FCC's web page at www.fcc.gov/live. The FCC’s web cast is free to the public and does not require pre-registration.
FCC Releases National Broadband Plan
On March 16, the FCC presented the National Broadband Plan to the U.S. Congress. This Plan will be extremely important for public safety in the U.S. as it will help in the shaping of technological changes affecting government, business, NGOs, and all citizens. It may be of interest to Canadian practitioners. View the Executive Summary or go to www.broadband.gov for the full document.
FCC Announces New Date for Emergency Response Interoperability Forum
In the U.S., a public forum to discuss the creation of an emergency response interoperability center (named ERIC) for public safety broadband communications is scheduled for for Tuesday, March 2, 2010, from 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. See this document for details. The meeting will be streamed live at http://reboot.fcc.gov/live/.
Guelph Public Safety Interoperability Regional Meeting
On February 23, 2010, the Guelph Police Service, County of Wellington Emergency Management, City of Guelph Emergency Services Guelph and the Canadian Interoperability Technology Interest Group (CITIG) hosted the Guelph CITIG Forum and Planning Meeting. By all accounts, the event was very successful with stakeholders committing to improved cooperation to advance regional communications interoperability issues. Meeting information and select presentations made during the sessions are available on the member portion of this site.
EMS Chiefs of Canada representative named to P25 Interest Group
OTTAWA, Jan. 18 - Bruce Farr, president of the EMS Chiefs of Canada, today announced that the EMS Chiefs of Canada in cooperation with the Canadian Interoperability Technology Interest Group (CITIG) have named a representative to join the Project 25 Interest Group (P25IG), a U.S.-based entity that comprises public safety professionals and equipment manufacturers interested in the further development of, and education on, the P25 standards.
"Communications interoperability for first responders is a definite challenge for responders across North America and having a Canadian representative invited to participate in the P25 Interest Group is a way to keep track of emerging trends," Chief Farr stated. "Project 25 promises to revolutionize public safety communications by allowing effective, efficient and reliable intra-agency and inter-agency communications. I am confident that our participation in this initiative will be beneficial to EMS services and responders across Canada."
Paramedic Mark Toman will begin his duties with the P25IG in early 2010. Mark has worked in the field of public safety since 1988 and his current role includes working with the EMS IT and Engineering support personnel and other stakeholders to ensure that Tactical Emergency Medical Services (TEMS) operational communications needs are met. He also works closely with Toronto Police and Toronto Fire Communications while serving on the Tri-service 911 committee. Mark is the working group representative for the EMS Chiefs of Canada to CITIG and is one of the First Responder participants involved in shaping the Canadian Communications Interoperability Plan (CCIP). He currently sits on committees for several interoperability and radio projects.
P25 is a user-driven effort to develop a suite of standards for digital land-mobile radio (LMR) systems produced through the joint efforts of the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials International (APCO), the National Association of State Telecommunications Directors (NASTD), selected Federal Agencies and the National Communications System (NCS), and standardized under the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA). P25 was created in 1989 in order to enable public safety agencies to communicate with each other, regardless of their LMR system manufacturers, and is the only open voluntary consensus standards development group focused on emergency responder digital LMR communications.