The Statewide Interoperability Executive Committee (SIEC) was created as a subcommittee under the Unified Command Group (UCG) in March 2008 as part of the authority of the Louisiana Homeland Security and Emergency Assistance and Disaster Act (Louisiana Disaster Act).
The SIEC is dedicated to communications interoperability. Communications interoperability is the ability of emergency service agencies to communicate across disciplines and jurisdictions using wireless networks to exchange real time voice, data and imagery information.
The SIEC membership is composed of all appropriate first responder and support organizations.
Operationally, the subcommittee has full authority to design, construct, administer and maintain a statewide interoperable communications system with capacity to transport voice, data and imagery in support of full response to any emergency event, as well as general day-to-day operations. The Subcommittee coordinates interoperability issues with emergency alert, 911 system and 211 information and referral services; integrated criminal justice systems; as well as identifies other system which may need to be addressed.
Additionally, the SIEC is responsible for developing and approving procedural and technical requirements necessary to implement the Statewide Communications Interoperability Plan (SCIP) for first responders and creating subcommittees to deal with specific interoperability challenges. While the SIEC is authorized to recommend additions or deletions to the UCG regarding the Plan, it does not have the authority to change it.
SIEC administers the Louisiana Wireless Information Network (LWIN). LWIN is the Nation’s largest Statewide radio system in the country, providing daily voice communications.
The SIEC also has four (4) subcommittees;
- Budget and Finance
- Policy and Planning
Statewide Communications Interoperability Plan
The SCIP envisions a statewide system accessible to all local and State first responders, with the capacity and capability to transmit emergency communications across the spectrum from daily usage to a surge during an unknown catastrophic event. The Plan outlines a clear mission and specific goals to achieve statewide public safety communications and interoperability. It establishes guiding principles for infrastructure, governance, standard operating procedures, technology, training and exercises to support these goals.
The system outlined by the SCIP is accessible to all local and State first responders with capacity and capability to transmit emergency communications. It features multiple levels of safeguards. Communications redundancy is provided across a variety of media including satellite phones, internet, traditional telephone lines and ham radio. Further the State – through the GOHSEP, Louisiana National Guard (LANG), Louisiana State Police (LSP), and the SIEC - maintains multiple capabilities for rapid restoration of communications destroyed as a result of an emergency or disaster event.
The SCIP is integrated with the State’s Homeland Security Strategy, specifically Goal 1, which calls for establishing an interoperable communications environment for all State’s first responders.
Federal FirstNet is an independent organization created by Congress to cost-effectively create a nationwide broadband network dedicated to public safety DATA sharing. FirstNet is designed for public safety professionals, enabling them to share applications, access databases and provide better services through improved communication. FirstNet’s goal is to provide public safety-grade reliability and extensive coverage so public safety personnel can count on the network when they are on the job.
Using dedicated spectrum, when complete, the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN) will provide first responders and other safety personnel a single interoperable platform for emergency and daily public safety communications.
The 2012 Federal law that created FirstNet also established the State and Local Implementation Grant Program (SLIGP), paving the way for Louisiana FirstNet.
SLIGP provides resources to local, regional, State and Tribal entities to identify interoperability wireless data needs, gaps and priorities, and plan for build out of the NPSBN. Louisiana FirstNet is leading that effort. In partnership with local and statewide stakeholders, Louisiana FirstNet is determining the most efficient and effective means to use and integrate the infrastructure, equipment and other architecture associated with FirstNet so that local, State, Tribal and regional jurisdictional seamless interoperable data sharing requirements are met.
Louisiana FirstNet + SIEC
Louisiana FirstNet is under the general direction of the SIEC and its Broadband Subcommittee specifically. The Louisiana grant recipient for the SLIGP is the Louisiana Office of State Police. The grant administrator for SLIGP Funding is GOHSEP.
Each State designates a single point of contact to facilitate connectivity and cooperation between the State and FirstNet. The current State Single Point of Contact (SPOC) is Colonel Michael Edmonson, Superintendent, Louisiana State Police (LSP) and Deputy Secretary, Department of Public Safety & Corrections Public Safety Services.