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Interoperable Communications and Command

The Kentucky Fire Commission is the coordinating body for fire service mutual aid response during major emergencies / events through the State Emergency Operations Plan (ESF-4). The central coordination point is the State Emergency Operations Center.

The Fire Commission / State Fire Rescue Training has deployed four Interoperable Communications Assets. These units also provide a facility capable of enhancing coordination and command operations.

Base funding for development of the units was provided through the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security. Operational funding is through the Fire Commission / Fire Rescue Training.

Purpose:

The units are designed to be used to enhance

Communications
Coordination
Command
Or any combination of the above

These units are for the purpose of providing support to major events, whether for a major disaster or for a major planned event .

Local Fire Needs:

A majority of the local fire departments in the Commonwealth of Kentucky do not have a mobile facility providing resources for interoperable communications, coordination of response resources, and command of incidents. In major, large scale events, these communications assets will be brought to the fire department for their use during their event.

Training:

The Kentucky Fire Commission / State Fire Rescue Training coordinates multi agency, multi jurisdictional training events. Many of these events involved multiple hands on programs and multiple locations at the same time. The National Incident Management System guidance now requires these events to be coordinated in the same process as a true life event. This created a need for a mobile asset providing communications, coordination, and command resources.

Exercises:

The Kentucky Fire Commission facilitates the Kentucky Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program on behalf of the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security. Operating full scale exercises requires control systems, including voice and data solutions, to coordinate the operations of the exercises. The mobile communications assets will serve this function.
EMS exercises: Located in the same facility as the Kentucky Fire Commission is the Kentucky Board of EMS (KBEMS); KBEMS coordinates Kentucky's EMS strike force / mutual aid system. KBEMS did not have a field coordination center and these assets will serve in this function.

Number of units:

Grant funds were approved for developing three mobile units. Through effective purchasing, savings were accumulated and communications equipment was installed into a fourth existing trailer.


The four mobile units are tag along units, each having two areas, a conference / meeting / work room and a communications room.

Base Locations:

The units will be based out of the following Fire Rescue Training Offices

  • Area 3, serving Western Kentucky
  • Area 7, serving Northern Kentucky and Northeast Kentucky
  • Area 13, serving Southeast Kentucky
  • Area 14, serving Central Kentucky

Equipment Included:

The three primary units have included:

  • 3 VHF radios
  • 3 UHF radios
  • 1 800 radio
  • 1 amateur radio
  • 2 sets of bridging hardware, each allowing for up to 8 frequencies to be bridged into a single communications channel
  • 1 Backup batteries
  • 1 MITOC (ManPortable Interoperable Tactical Operations Center) providing both voice and data satellite technology, has solar panel power backup for power outages
  • 18 Portable radios
  • 3 Laptop computers
  • 1 Telescoping light system
  • 1 Telescoping / zoom camera system
  • 1 Satellite TV system for monitoring news networks
  • 1 Weather station
  • 1 On board generator
  • 1 complete set of office supplies (paper, pens, stapler, ect)


The fourth unit has the same assets with the exception of the MITOC unit.

Benefits:

The system, operating with four mobile assets, will improve the effectiveness and efficiency of 1) coordination of mutual aid response, both interstate and intrastate; 2) coordination and operation of major training events; 3) coordination and delivery of the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program; 4) capabilities of the Kentucky Board of EMS when deploying the EMS Strike Teams; and 5) capabilities of local fire departments when operating at large, extended incidents.

In-Service Date:

These units went into service on February 22, 2010.

Request and Deployment Procedures:

These units may be requested through State Fire Rescue Training. The available unit which is the closest to the request will be assigned.

Prime Movers / tow vehicles were not funded through the grant. The Kentucky Fire Commission / State Fire Rescue Training will move these units with existing trucks and personnel.

When needed by Fire Commission / State Fire Rescue Training, the units will be staffed with FC/SFRT personnel
When being used by local agencies, these units will be delivered to the requesting agency and will be picked up once the requesting agency has completed their need for the unit. The requesting agency is responsible for cleaning of the unit after completion of the incident.

Training on the units will be conducted through normal county and regional fire school operations.

For more information or if the units are needed for a response, contact our office at 1-800-782-6823