Public Safety Management: Lessons Learned and Best Practices

Current Issues in Management, Communications, and Broadband for Public Safety Practitioners

Through its National Institute for Emergency Communications (NIEC), SEARCH held a series of Advanced Workshops for mid- to senior-level public safety emergency communications managers that provided training and awareness on critical issues these managers face.

Through these workshops, SEARCH identified critical lessons learned and useful best practices from public safety emergency communication and broadband projects nationwide. These podcasts present numerous lessons and best practices, and are intended to educate and inform public safety practitioners about current issues in public safety project management, communications, and broadband technologies.



Podcast 1

Topic: "Long-Term Evolution 101"

Description: Long-Term Evolution (LTE) is a brand name for emerging and developing technologies that comprise the existing 3rd generation and 4th generation networks for wireless communications of high-speed data. The goal of LTE is to increase the capacity and speed of wireless data networking using cutting-edge hardware and software and techniques that have been developed. The Charlottesville Fire Department is a recognized leader in Virginia and has developed practical applications using broadband technology. The region has conducted several trials with multiple broadband vendors and shares those results with SEARCH.

Participant: Chief Charles Werner, Charlottesville Fire Department, Charlottesville, Virginia
Moderator: Benjamin Krauss, Public Safety Technology Specialist, SEARCH

LISTEN TO FULL INTERVIEW (duration time: 29:25:00)



Podcast 2

Topic: "The 'Accidental' Project Manager"

Description: The Project Management Institute (PMI) defines a project manager as the person assigned by the performing organization to meet the project objectives. Project Management (PM) is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements. It's common to assign someone to the project management task for factors other than PM skills and abilities. This is a landmine waiting to go off. In our podcast, our guests will explore the adverse impacts of assigning an accidental project manager and provide best practices for achieving project success in a world where budgets are tight and project success is more critical than ever.

Participant: Ramona Patts, Support Services Division Administrator, Department of Public Safety, City of Columbus, Ohio
Brad Stoddard, Alternate Statewide Interoperability Coordinator, State of Michigan
Moderator: Benjamin Krauss, Public Safety Technology Specialist, SEARCH

LISTEN TO FULL INTERVIEW (duration time: 38:29:00)



Podcast 3

Topic: "Narrowbanding"

Description: There is a limited amount of .spectrum available to public safety that is technically suitable for conventional voice communications used by all public safety agencies. The FCC has enacted rules and regulations regarding the future of conventional public safety land mobile radio intended to promote more efficient use of spectrum. In this case, to specifically narrow the individual operating channels used for communications, thereby allowing other channels to be incorporated into the band plans, expanding the number of available channels. These rule changes are intended to be enacted December 31, 2012. The FCC initiated an information campaign over a decade ago, yet many agencies have not yet completed the conversion of equipment. The challenges faced include technical, with equipment that may be out of date and incapable of conversion, and also includes planning and interoperability challenges for agencies that work closely together over a wider geographical area of operation. As always, funding is a significant consideration for cash-strapped agencies. This podcast examines the impact of the narrowbanding requirements on public safety agencies prior to and after the enactment deadline.

Participant: Chief Paul Maplethorpe, Greater Round Lake Fire Protection District, Round Lake, Illinois
Moderator: Ron Haraseth, Public Safety Technology Specialist, SEARCH

LISTEN TO FULL INTERVIEW (duration time: 30:35:00)



Podcast 4

Topic: "SOP Development for the Coordination of Interoperability Resources"

Description: The Department of Homeland Security refers to “standard operating procedures” (SOPs) as formal written guidelines or instructions for emergency management that detail how equipment and resources should be consistently and effectively used. This podcast will explore the importance of cooperation and user involvement in developing SOPs for the management and coordination of interoperability resources and how these SOPs support interoperability planning and management. Our guest will share experiences and challenges faced when developing SOPs. He will also share the lessons learned and best practices that can help you successfully develop and adhere to SOPs for use across a range of emergency and planned events at the state, regional, and local levels.

Participant: Chris Suter, Communications Chief, Contra Costa Fire Protection District, California
Moderator: Ron Haraseth, Public Safety Technology Specialist, SEARCH

LISTEN TO FULL INTERVIEW (duration time: 12:14:00)



Podcast 5

Topic: "An Introduction to the Incident Command System (ICS) in the Communications Unit (COMU)"

Description: Establishing and managing the Incident Communications Center, assessing current tactical communications equipment needs, and participating in incident planning needs are just a few of the roles and responsibilities that make the COMU a vital part of any incident. This podcast will explore the COMU within ICS and identify training opportunities for unit-specific positions. Our guest will discuss challenges that can impede communications, and share information on tools and best practices that can help overcome these challenges when the lives of first responders and the public need for communications to be reliable.

Participant: Gary Parker, Battalion Chief and Program Manager, Fort Worth Police Department, Texas
Moderator: Ron Haraseth, Public Safety Technology Specialist, SEARCH

LISTEN TO FULL INTERVIEW (duration time: 12:08:00)



Podcast 6

Topic: "Lifecycle Planning"

Description: The Department of Homeland Security Office of Emergency Communications refers to system lifecycle planning as the sum of all recurring and one-time nonrecurring costs over the full lifespan or a specified period of a service structure or system. It includes purchase price, installation costs, operating costs, maintenance and upgrade costs, and remaining residual or salvage value at the end of ownership or its useful life. This podcast will explore the importance of lifecycle planning as part of project planning for public safety communications projects. Our guest will share experiences and challenges he has faced when lifecyle planning did not occur. He will also share the lessons learned and best practices that can help you successfully prepare and adhere to lifecycle planning processes.

Participant: Capt. Paul Wilson, Commander, Information Technology Division, Pima County Sheriff's Department, Arizona and project sponsor, Pima County Wireless Integrated Network (PCWIN)
Moderator: Ron Haraseth, Public Safety Technology Specialist, SEARCH

LISTEN TO FULL INTERVIEW (duration time: 16:00:00)