MD Eastern Shore Interoperability

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Eastern Shore Interoperability Project Results in Communications Alliance

CHHS recently completed a multi-year emergency communications interoperability project on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Staff supporting the project assisted with the formation and operation of the Eastern Shore Communications Alliance (ESCA) – serving the Shore’s emergency communications interoperability governance body. ESCA’s membership includes the directors of emergency services from Cecil, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Talbot, Caroline, Dorchester, Wicomico, Somerset, and Worcester counties, as well as the town of Ocean City, Md. ESCA is dedicated to improving communications interoperability and tackling other issues facing 9-1-1 call centers and emergency managers.

Laying groundwork for the Alliance, CHHS first worked to establish a governance structure for ESCA, formalizing strong working relationships and previous cooperative efforts. Once formally established, ESCA was able to actively manage the Maryland Eastern Shore Interoperability Network, the Shore’s primary technical interoperability solution.

Over the course of three separate Interoperable Communications Grant Program (IECGP) cycles, CHHS had the pleasure of helping the newly minted ESCA achieve some important goals. These included: establishing standard operation procedures and a regional tactical interoperable communications plan; conducting multiple dedicated interoperability exercises, and incorporating interoperability efforts into general exercise efforts; developing an outreach program to engage community leadership and first-responders; and assessing and filling gaps in current technology and tools. ESCA is also prepared to take a proactive role in Maryland’s statewide interoperability governance bodies, including the Practitioners Steering Committee, and the State Interoperability Executive Committee. Although federal funding for the IECGP has come to end, ESCA is now well established, and continues to work towards these and future interoperability goals.

This text is taken from the CHHS Fall 2013 Newsletter.

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