Emergencies often involve responders from multiple agencies and even from neighboring jurisdictions. In order to effectively and safely do their jobs, they must be able to communicate.
Much progress has been made in the state toward creating an interoperability solution for Iowa's responders, including the use of the Iowa Communications Network (ICN) to allow responders to link their voice, data and video communication equipment during emergencies and disasters. HSEMD has also been involved in the development of pilot projects to improve communication technology for local responders.
Iowa Statewide Interoperable Communications System Board
During the 2007 legislative session, legislation was passed to create the Iowa Statewide Interoperable Communications System Board (ISICSB). The board is charged with planning, developing, implementing, and overseeing policy, operations, and fiscal components of communications efforts at the state and local level, and coordinating with similar efforts at the federal level.
Jim Bogner is the Iowa Statewide Interoperability Coordinator (SWIC) and the primary point of contact for Iowa's statewide interoperability plans, actions, outreach efforts, questions and the ISICSB website. He can be reached via phone at 515-725-6108.
On January 1, 2013, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will require that all public safety and business industrial land mobile radio systems operating in the 150-512 MHz radio bands must begin operating using at least 12.5 kHz efficiency technology. The deadline is a result of an FCC effort to ensure more efficient use of the spectrum and greater spectrum access for public safety and non-public safety users. "Narrowbanding," or migration to 12.5 kHz from 25 kHz efficiency technology, will allow added channel capacity and support more users.