Board will identify needs in emergency communication systems

Alaska’s new Statewide Interoperability Governing Board, created under Administrative Order 298, is charged with identifying and advocating for improvements to the state’s emergency communications systems.

Alaska currently lacks a comprehensive statewide system capable of allowing public safety agencies from various levels of government to communicate effectively when a crisis occurs, and many parts of the state still have no access to 911 services.

The board will make recommendations to the governor’s office on statewide and regional emergency communications interoperability efforts and on policy initiatives related to broadband, land mobile radio, 911, alerts and warnings, and emerging communications technologies. Board members will include the chief information officer and a commissioner or deputy commissioner from the state departments of Public Safety, Military and Veterans’ Affairs, Transportation and Public Facilities, Health and Social Services, and Natural Resources.

Seven members who are not state officials are also to be appointed to the board, including the statewide interoperability coordinator and statewide 911 coordinator. Other members are to be selected from the Alaska Municipal League, the Alaska Native community as recommended by the Governor’s Tribal Advisory Council, the Alaska Fire Chiefs Association, Association of Chiefs of Police and the Association of Public Safety Communications officials.