Alabama First Responder Wireless Commission

Alabama First Responder
Wireless Commission
December 4, 2014
Executive Order 34
Before Executive Order 34, no one body
was tasked to work towards a resolution
to the state’s first responder
communication problems.
This executive order created a
commission in 2012 that focused on how
to best meet the communication needs
of all first responders across the state.
Federal, State, Local & Tribal jurisdictions
currently operate numerous disparate
communication systems that cover the
same area.
State communication infrastructure
(towers, microwave, shelters, etc.) is
limited and in most cases will not
facilitate additional equipment to
provide public safety grade
Required ALL state agencies to work
together for the common goal.
ACT 2013-330
• Act 2013-330 (House Bill 92), codified the
Governor’s Executive Order 34 and
permanently created the Alabama First
Responder Wireless Commission.
• The AFRWC is comprised of 28 commissioners
representing State, County, and Municipal first
responders from Law, Fire, EMA, EMS and
other disciplines.
Commission Membership
The Secretary of the Alabama State Law
Enforcement Agency;
The Director of the Alabama Emergency
Management Agency;
The Director of the Alabama Department of Public
The Director of the Alabama Department of
The Adjutant General of the Alabama National
The Commissioner of the Alabama Department of
Conservation and Natural Resources;
The Director of the Alabama Department of
The Director of the Alabama Department of Finance
The State Wide Interoperability Coordinator;
The Commissioner of the Alabama Forestry
The Director of the Alabama Department of Public
The Director of the Alcoholic Beverage Control;
The Director of the Alabama Dept. of Economic and
Community Affairs;
The Alabama Fire Marshall;
The Commissioner of Alabama AG & Industries;
A representative as appointed by the Alabama
Sheriffs Association;
A representative as appointed by the Alabama
Association of Volunteer Fire Departments;
A representative as appointed by the Alabama
Association of Rescue Squads;
A representative as appointed by the Alabama
Association of Chiefs of Police;
A representative as appointed by the Alabama
Association of Emergency Managers;
A representative as appointed by the Alabama
Association of Fire Chiefs;
The Chairperson of the Federal Communications
Commission’s Region 1, 700MHz Regional Planning
A representative of the Poarch Creek Band of Creek
A representative as appointed by the National
Emergency Number Association of Alabama;
A representative as appointed by the Alabama
Association of 911 Districts;
A representative as appointed by the ACCA;
A representative as appointed by the AL League of
Municipalities; and
A representative as appointed by the Governor.
So now what?
• Act 2013-330 (HB92) gave the appropriate
authority to begin addressing deficiencies relating
to communications for our First Responders.
• It also provided the governance structure needed
to bring all the relevant players to the table from
both state and local response agencies.
• Most of all, it provided a unified approach that
did not alienate local input into a statewide
Commission’s Vision
The Alabama First Responder Wireless
Commission’s (AFRWC) vision is to strengthen
public safety emergency communications and
interoperability and to create a unified and
integrated voice/data communications platform,
with the technology, equipment, and procedures
necessary to allow first responder and public safety
agencies at the State, County, Tribal, and Municipal
levels to communicate to safely, effectively, and
efficiently to protect the people of Alabama.
Mission Statement
The mission of the AFRWC is to establish and sustain
innovative and consensus-based approaches to missioncritical wireless communications technology and interagency
partnerships that lead to seamless communications among
public safety agencies serving the citizens of Alabama.
Responsibilities of the Commission include:
• Strategic planning of public safety spectrum and serving as
the intergovernmental bridge between Federal, State,
Local, Tribal and private entities to foster and promote
collaboration and information sharing
• Promoting the efficient use of public resources to ensure
that essential public safety personnel have effective
• Planning, building, implementing and maintaining radio
access networks and their application in public safety,
public health, and public works
AFRWC Workgroups
• The AFRWC has created workgroups to assist
the commission in meeting it’s goals and
– Project 25 System Administrators Workgroup
– State Agencies Workgroup
– Users Workgroup
• Comprised of our 7 Divisional Advisory Committee
(DAC) Chairpersons.
– Policies and Procedures Workgroup
Life and Safety Issue
• Alabama does not have a unified communications
system, thus creating the inability for First Responders
to communicate with each other on emergency scenes
or during disasters.
• Alabama currently funds disparate communication
systems for ADPS, AEMA, Alabama Forestry, AL DOT,
ADOC, and other agencies.
• None of the current systems are capable of serving our
First Responder’s needs statewide.
• The state’s current communication systems are based
on antiquated technology. Coverage areas for existing
state owned systems is extremely limited.
– This lack of coverage presents an ever growing safety issue
for our responders.
• Move to a unified statewide communication platform.
• Use open standards architecture (Project 25) to build a
system that all first responder agencies can utilize.
• The Legislature should fund one unified system rather than
multiple disparate systems.
– Funding should be broken into two separate investments:
capital improvements and sustainability of a 10-year period.
• Capitalize on existing taxpayer investments at the local level
by partnering with those jurisdictions that have already
built Project 25 systems. This would save taxpayers millions.
• Upgrade state infrastructure by building towers, deploying
microwave for backhaul connectivity, and laying fiber optic
Integrated School Safety
• A radio in every school office will allow for
schools to send an emergency alert signal to
your local law enforcement should a life
threatening emergency exist.
• The radio is designed to be like a “fire alarm”
for police and would be dedicated for this
• Once activated, law enforcement would be
able to communicate directly with school
officials while enroute.
Alabama’s Project
25 Systems
So how do we do it?
• By creating a strong governance structure (AFRWC), we laid
the foundation to be successful.
• Local jurisdictions have already started acquiring the
necessary infrastructure for a statewide unified
communications system. By partnering with them, the state
will save millions.
• Madison, Morgan, Jefferson, Etowah, Calhoun, Talladega, Shelby,
Montgomery, Baldwin, Mobile Counties along with Opelika, Dothan,
Northport, and the University of Alabama all have the equipment
needed to start the process.
• Utilizing the AFRWC, legal documents and agreements are
being drafted to share system resources and infrastructure
to begin the build out should the Legislature provide
• The only piece missing is the state’s contribution.
– The state has no “skin-in-the-game”. We have not allocated any
funding toward the projects.
So how do we do it? (cont)
• The commission is working with the system
administrators to bring state responders and
support personnel onto the systems.
• The commission will need $180 million to build a
statewide solution for all first responders.
• We anticipate a phased approach.
– Two ideas is to cover all major highways (Interstates
and US hwys) first. Then go back and fill in dead spots.
– Utilize the geographical divisions as defined by AEMA,
ADPS and ALEA, building one region at a time.
Once Completed…
• Once completed, we would have a unified system-ofsystems both owned and operated by AFRWC and
those locals already operating systems.
• All first responders and support personnel would have
access to a public safety grade communications system.
• State agencies (ALEA, ADPS, AEMA, ALDOT, ADCNR,
ADOC), County, and Local responders would all work
off the same unified system.
• The unified system would save lives and give our first
responders security knowing that when they use their
radio, somebody will answer them.
– That can’t be said today…
Near-Term Actions
• AFRWC partner with existing Local system
• Educate the Legislature and garner their
support of the project.
• Identify $180 million in funding to provide all
(Local, County, and State) first responders
radio coverage statewide.
• Provide funding for a 10 year (long-term)
maintenance contract with awarded vendor.
Overview of FirstNet
and the National Public Safety
Broadband Network (NPSBN)
• Data Communications (not Voice) for First
– The state’s POC is Secretary Collier and Chuck
Murph is working lead on the program.
– The first face-to-face meeting with FirstNet is
slated for early 2015 to begin our consultation
– Once a state plan is drafted by FirstNet, the
Alabama First Responder Wireless Commission
will make a formal recommendation to the
Chuck Murph
Alabama Law Enforcement Agency
Cell: 334-328-6848
[email protected]

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