Many agencies have been contacting MABAS-IL TCD Committee members regarding the Illinois Interoperability Plan. Many grants applicants are required to reference the State's Interoperability Plan, and if it could not be produced, would be in jeopardy of losing the grant opportunity. These include AFG, Fire Act, CEDAP, etc.
Thanks to Chief Dave Dato (Wauconda FD) and others, the MABAS-IL TCD Committee has reached out to Don Kauerauf with the Illinois Terrorism Task Force (ITTF) who is directly involved in the State-Federal interface to make these grants a reality. For a summary of the State's Interoperability Plan: Guide for Fire Grants for Interoperability
Prime Contact at ITTF:
Illinois Terrorism Task Force
2200 S. Dirksen Parkway
Springfield, IL 62703-4554
Other sources and comments:
1. The Illinois State Communications Interoperability Planning document SCIP was completed and submitted to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for approval on December 3, 2007. The plan addressed all of the SAFECOM requirements.
2. DHS reports that states will be advised if their plan was approved by March 31, 2008. Don Kauerauff has been advised that DHS is approaching states that need to revise their plan before the end of the month. So far, Illinois hasn't been contacted.
3. It is acknowledged the plan is a living document and like any plan it is never "complete". There will always be changes. The goal now is to seek approval of the plan through the statewide communications associations and regulatory/advisory boards. Once received, the plan will be designated as the interim plan by Director Velasquez of IEMA.
4. Please review the Guide for Fire Grants for Interoperability. A very important part of the plan from a fire service perspective are the MABAS-IL Policies, Procedures, and Guidelines. They should be used as part of any grant document for Interoperability.
5. Make sure your interoperability grant application discusses how your agency will interface to STARCOM21 (Command car mount, base-console interface or console patch, connection to a cross-band device like an ACU-1000 or ICRI box) and the MABAS-IL issued VHF Interoperability Radio (no endorsements of any products, but given here as examples).
6. Show in your grant that you comply with the use of MERCI and IREACH as appropriate.
7. The Illinois SCIP plan is a large document. MABAS-IL TCD will help facilitate a method to disseminate the plan and may include setting up an FTP site to transfer large files. In the meantime, please refer to the Guide for Fire Grants for Interoperability when applying for grants.
Contact the MABAS-IL TCD Committee Co-Chair Steve Rauter at SRauter@WESCOM-9-1-1.org or Chief Dave Dato (Wauconda FD) at DDato@waucondafire.org if you have any questions or comments.