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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                    May 11, 2007

Release No. M-47-07






The City’s Public Safety Oversight Committee (PSOC) Operations Subcommittee conducted an interoperable communications exercise (ComEx) at Honolulu Harbor’s Pier 2 on Wednesday, May 9. Vehicles and staff deployed to the pier to test intra-agency communications capabilities in response to a maritime incident.


“This is part of the City’s ongoing effort to practice and sharpen our communications capabilities,” said Mayor Mufi Hannemann. “We know all too well that in any disaster, natural or man-made, the ability to communicate directly and promptly is absolutely imperative. That’s why our first responders and Department of Information Technology are continually working on communications interoperability.”


Although the City took the lead, the exercise included agencies at all levels of government: The Honolulu Police Department, Honolulu Fire Department, Honolulu Emergency Medical Services, Honolulu Ocean Safety Division, Oahu Department of Emergency Management, state Sheriffs, state Attorney General’s office, U.S. Coast Guard, Department of Homeland Security, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Department of Defense.


All of them worked together to practice the physical setup of mobile gateways and command posts, and to implement interoperability through the use of shared channels, talk groups and fixed and mobile gateway patches, as called for in the Oahu Tactical Interoperability Plan. 


In preparation for this ComEx, a radio test was conducted on Monday, May 7, with the cooperation of Norwegian Cruise Lines aboard the Pride of Hawaii.  This radio test allowed first responders to identify communication coverage limitations. As a result, first responders could address those coverage gaps during the exercise and will have a greater understanding of their ability to communicate aboard a large ship in the event of an actual incident. 


This was the seventh ComEx conducted by the PSOC Operations Subcommittee since April 2006.  The City will continue with quarterly exercises to continue improving its communications capabilities.


Media contact:

           Gordon Bruce, Director, Department of Information Technology, 768-7621


Friday, May 11, 2007

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