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(1 of 2)I know nothing about Iowa's system, these comments are about interoperable comm systems generally:

The challenge is not the physical ability to talk to each other (that is merely a prerequisite for interoperable comms).  The challenge is having the plans, training, doctrine, and culture in place to allow agencies to work together seamlessly.  In an emergency, what channels do they go to?  Do people know how to get to them?  Have differences in terminology been deconflicted?  Is the policy and culture in place to allow this to happen?

10 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @


(2 of 2) 

I have seen agencies working emergency operations stay on their own channels (that were literally one click apart on the selector knob) because the training and culture was not in place to allow and EXPECT responders to go to a common channel.  I have seen ops where there were three common channels the agencies could have used, but the responders and supervisors didn't know they were there, how to get to them, and they thought 'someone' needed to give them permission to move off to the interoperability talkgroups.  When a radio has 128 talkgroups, there's a lot more training (and recurrent training) that has to be done to ensure responders understand the purpose of, can find, and will use the interoperability channels when the time comes. 

I have seen problems where no one thought to put the common talkgroups on a recording system, so LE agencies were reluctant to use them as they were not recorded.  Or where interop talkgroups could not be pulled on a dispatch console, so they were of limited utility in an emergency that required a dispatcher on the channel. 

The physical ability to talk radio to radio is just the starting line to true interoperability.  There's a lot more that has to be thought about and put into place. 

10 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @


1 - I take two Aleve tablets when I get to the airport (airplane seats cause me pain).  It handles all the aches and pains. 

2 - Sleep.  Air travel is the most uncomfortable thing I do.  For long flights, a pillow and drinks (or a sleep aid) act like a time machine.  

3 - This may sound silly, but I take a Kindle and an iPad.  Reading and watching movies on the iPad seems to get repetitive.  Changing devices to read books breaks things up (and lets you take a different position in the seat). 

4 - Earplugs.  Get some custom molded earplugs and put them in, they block 99% of the noise (including crying kids).  If you have a noise cancelling headset, throw them on over the earplugs and you'd think you're home lying in bed in the middle of the night.

11 months, 2 weeks ago on How to Stay Comfortable on a Long-Haul Flight


So let's reward the inflexible, moribund system by killing the dynamic, high performance alternative.   That'll solve the problem.

1 year, 2 months ago on Conversation @