The development and coordination of a statewide solution to emergency communications interoperability is enormously complex. It requires the goodwill and active cooperation of local, county, tribal, state and federal units of government. It must satisfy the technical requirements and meet the operational needs of a variety of first responders, including law enforcement, fire, EMS and emergency management. And it must be flexible – yet standardized – to address unique local and regional conditions while ensuring that the final result is seamless integration of systems statewide.
By Wisconsin statute, the State Interoperability Council (IC) and the Department of Military Affairs (DMA) are responsible for devising solutions to public safety radio communication gaps. While these entities bear statutory responsibility for advisement and project oversight, the successful implementation of a statewide solution will largely depend on the actions and support of local elected officials. Members of public safety/emergency response agencies at the state, county, local, and tribal levels, as well as private-sector responders (e.g., emergency medical providers and ambulance services), are critical components of interoperability efforts.
To this end, the IC has accepted the Statewide Communications Interoperability Plan (SCIP) which provides a shared strategic vision and implementation roadmap. Its primary purpose is to act as a planning tool to help Wisconsin prioritize resources, strengthen governance, identify future investments, and address interoperability gaps.
There are two overarching themes in the SCIP:
The shared governance approach outlined in the SCIP is designed to achieve statewide interoperability by identifying and addressing the concerns, perspectives, and any unique circumstances of the jurisdictions and organizations that will benefit most from interoperability. The multi-disciplinary subcommittees included in the chart below have been established to develop policies and procedures and coordinate SCIP implementation activities:
State Interoperability Council (IC)
The IC was established under Wisconsin Statutes 15.107 and 16.9645 in March 2008 to develop strategies and recommend standards and guidelines for achieving statewide communications interoperability for Wisconsin’s public safety community. The IC is governed by specific bylaws and the IC Charter outlines the authority, purpose, and responsibilities of the IC. Members are appointed by the Governor and represent key state and local stakeholders. Membership is structured as follows:
As the main statewide planning and governance body for communications interoperability in Wisconsin, the IC has chartered several subcommittees and working groups to address particular communications issues. There are four subcommittees: 9-1-1, Land Mobile Radio (LMR), Public Safety Broadband (PSB), and WISCOM. The IC subcommittees are governed by the following by-laws: