The lack of interoperable wireless communications systems
has plagued public safety organizations for decades. In many cases,
public safety personnel do not have adequate radio spectrum (channels
or frequencies) or hardware/equipment to perform mission-critical duties.
Emergency responders are then unable to communicate or share critical
voice and data information with other jurisdictions or disciplines
during natural disasters, emergency response scenarios, terrorist acts,
or even in day-to-day operations.
Governor Warner has recognized the pressing need to address interoperability
in our communities by creating a new position
in the Office of Public Safety — the Commonwealth
What is Interoperability?
Interoperability is the ability for public safety personnel to talk
with one another via radio communication systems – to exchange
voice and/or data with one another on-demand, in real time – whenever
necessary. It creates inter-communications
that support effective incident management (tactical) and emergency
management (strategic) activities; these in turn support continuity
of operations and government functions during emergencies and
catastrophic events. [Please note: Interoperability does not mean
that everyone at an incident is able to talk with everyone
Virginia is currently developing a Statewide Interoperability Strategic
Plan to ensure that localities, state agencies, and federal agencies
work together to improve interoperability. The development of
this plan is only the first step. The involvement and leadership
by localities is the driving force that will make this effort a
News & Updates
Local Interoperability Grant Opportunity
The Commonwealth Interoperability Coordinator's Office and State Interoperability Executive Committee are happy to announce $2 million in State Homeland Security Grant Program (SHSGP) Funds to support local interoperability projects. The grant funds may be used to support interoperability projects that include planning, evaluation, and/or equipment to improve communications interoperability in Virginia. Localities may apply for up to $75,000 in grant funds.
The application deadline for the Local Interoperability Grant is January 27, 2006. The application can be downloaded here by clicking.
800 MHz Rebanding
The mandatory 800 MHz Rebanding project has just recently gotten
underway, with Virginia slated to convert bandwidths within the
sure to explore our new 800 MHz Rebanding pages for more
information and insight into implementaiton plans.