Emergency Communications

May 15, 2017

General Dynamics Mission Systems Inc., Dedham, Massachusetts, has been awarded a $53,000,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for Defense Injection/Reception Emergency Action Message Command and Control Terminal (DIRECT). Contractor will provide on-site management coverage, software updates, production, contractor logistics support, information awareness, field support, engineering services, travel, and over and above services in support of the DIRECT terminals. Work will be performed at Dedham, Massachusetts, and is expected to be complete by June 30, 2022. This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition.

April 3, 2017

AT&T Corp., Columbia, Maryland, was awarded $12,025,001 to exercise option year three of a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (HC1013-14-C-0003) for the Priority Telecommunication Service (PTS) to support the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Emergency Communications (OEC). The base period of performance was Aug. 1, 2014, to March 31, 2015, with nine one-year option periods. The current action is for the period of April 1, 2017, to March 31, 2018. The AT&T contract was one of three sole-source contracts to support the National Security/ Emergency Preparedness (NS/EP) Priority Telecommunication Service (PTS) via utilizing the public switched networks.

August 8, 2016
The Department of Homeland Security has made the Next-Generation Incident Command System globally available.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) has announced the Next-Generation Incident Command System (NICS), an information sharing tool for first responders, is now available worldwide.

December 22, 2011

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency have called upon industry to develop a low-cost and secure communications, network management and situational awareness system for the U.S. military, public safety agencies and commercial clients. The solution must enable remote and secure mission-based communications with or without cloud connectivity. The goal is to design a technology with both military and security applications that offers real-time information regardless of the infrastructure and equipment first responders or military members use.

February 3, 2010
By Katie Packard

Today was an exciting day at West 2010--and I'm not talking about the dynamic speakers and exhibitors. This morning my hotel had a small fire somewhere near the lobby, so I woke up before my alarm because of the loud, persistent sirens coming in through my window. Fortunately the situation was handled quickly and easily--thanks to San Diego's finest first responders. Unfortunately, I saw those first responders this afternoon after a medical emergency occurred on the exhibit floor.

November 25, 2009
By Katie Packard

Beginning this month, 14 government agencies across the U.S. are part of a pilot program testing a new multiband radio that enables first responders to talk to each other across frequency bands. The DHS's Science and Technology Directorate developed the radio, which resembles current single-band emergency communications equipment but works on five frequency bands and can work on four additional bands used exclusively by the U.S. Defense Department, National Guard and Coast Guard.

April 23, 2009
By Henry Kenyon

CHICAGO - Juliette Kayyem, assistant secretary for intergovernmental programs, DHS, led off Thursday afternoon's interactions at the National Conference on Emergency Communications. Kayyem came to the federal government from her position with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts where she was the governor's go-to person for homeland security.

April 23, 2009
By Henry Kenyon

CHICAGO - National Conference on Emergency Communications attendees interested in grants to fund local programs heard about recent changes to the program during a Thursday session titled "Show Me the Money: Understanding the Grants Process." The Honorable W. Ross Ashley III, FEMA Grant Programs Directorate, DHS, pointed out that partnership is not only the key theme for this conference but also for his directorate.

April 23, 2009
By Henry Kenyon

CHICAGO - Michael Byrne, former member of the New York City Fire Department, started out the discussion about how technology can save money with a bold statement: "Web 2.0 is biggest shift in how we communicate since the introduction of the telegraph." At an afternoon break-out session at the National Conference on Emergency Communications, he backed up this statement by explaining that social networking capabilities have replaced traditional one-way communications with dialogue. "It's a dialogue that's taking place that makes it faster to get input from the constituents then ever before," he stated.

April 22, 2009
By Henry Kenyon

CHICAGO - The first National Conference on Emergency Communications opened today with the goal of creating a national forum for emergency responders. In addition, the conference has been designed to clarify roles and initiatives the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Emergency Communications (OEC) and its partner programs are leading.

April 22, 2009
By Henry Kenyon

CHICAGO - Both federal and local emergency response leaders opened the first formal session of the National Conference on Emergency Communications by inviting attendees to share openly their success stories as well as the challenges they face. More than 450 representatives from emergency response organizations are attending the conference, including personnel from the military as well as large and small U.S. communities and Guam, Hawaii, the United Kingdom and Canada.

April 22, 2009
By Henry Kenyon

CHICAGO - Two case studies were the topic of discussion during the final presentation of the first day of the National Conference on Emergency Communications. The discussions centered around two large-scale multijurisdictional responses: one unplanned and one planned.

Scott Wiggins, director, division of emergency communication networks, Minnesota Department of Public Safety, described the details about the I-35W bridge collapse in Minneapolis in 2007. The bridge collapsed because of a design flaw and the additional weight on the bridge caused by the equipment needed for ongoing construction.

April 23, 2009
By Henry Kenyon

CHICAGO - Day two of the National Conference on Emergency Communications demonstrated that, as hoped, networking is the norm for this event. The chatter from first responder organization representatives from throughout the United States before the morning break-out sessions was nearly deafening.