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Oswego County Emergency Communications Governance and SOP study


Burton Blatt Institute (BBI), of Syracuse University, was chosen to study Oswego County Emergency Communications (E911) governance and standard operating procedures through a grant from the NYS Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Office of Interoperable and Emergency Communications (NYS DHSES OIEC) awarded to Oswego County. BBI personnel will work with Oswego County Emergency Communications personnel to insure governance and SOP's are in accordance with state and federal principles of interoperability, and inclusive of the interests of traditional and non-traditional stakeholders. The activity and process brings together various agencies, interests and professionals, which would include those from the world of special needs to focus on public safety communication in a whole new way.

Central New York Interoperable Communications Consortium Promotional Video (CNYICC)

Oswego County is a model for public safety communication and founding member of the Central New York Interoperable Communication Consortium (CNYICC), which also serves as a nationally recognized model for collaboration and interoperability (National Association of Counties – NACO Recognition Award in 2014). Oswego County will use this project to seek out ways to improve their operations even more; further advancing Federal SAFECOM guidelines and the NY Statewide Communications Interoperability Plan.

The purpose of the project is to identify and formalize best practices and standards and improve the operation of public safety communication governance and Standard Operating Procedures within Oswego County and in its relationships and involvement with the Central New York Interoperable Communications Consortium (CNYICC); federal, tribal, state, and local agencies; public and private business entities; not-for-profit entities and other stakeholders in the community and region, and to support and enhance statewide interoperable communications for first responders.

BBI staff involved in the project include: Principal Investigator Diana Foote, Co-Investigator Joseph Treglia, Research Assistants Melissa Delia and Ashkeah Hopkins. BBI will work with Oswego County in the research, investigation, assessment, development and formalization of governance structures and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to promote regional interoperable communications and engagement with traditional and non-traditional stakeholders. BBI will work closely with Oswego County to promote efficient interregional communications interoperability and cooperation in accordance with program goals.

The primary goal is to expand regional emergency communication and public safety partnerships, formalize governance, implement standardized operating procedures between counties and agencies, and improve efficiency of emergency communications systems. Project personnel will assist the county in the identification of other entities, public and private, that should be involved in the process. Identified project goals include:

Improve collaboration with first responder agencies among all levels of government Expand consortium/regional partnerships inclusive of multi‐jurisdiction, multi‐discipline, intergovernmental (State/local/NGO) stakeholders Develop operating procedures in counties, and between counties and agencies Ensure implementation using National Interoperability Channels and State, Regional, Tribal and Local Mutual Aid channels.

Researchers, students, support staff and specialists work with Oswego county personnel. They review current SOPS, MOUs and other documents that govern how the 911 center gathers input from the public, and other partners, and incorporates this into their operation. The end result has 911 center, county and consortium policies created that better promote interoperability, access, consideration for and inclusion of all people.

BBI has a focus on policy and legal issues impacting those with disabilities. The need for inclusion in consideration of public safety communications systems is an important area for attention and change. In NYS there remains a gap in the ability of emergency response agencies to communicate with those having special needs. This project will create more inclusive and effective policy and best practice models for replication in other counties, states or elsewhere.