Statewide Interoperability Program Management

“Maryland FiRST” New Statewide 700 MHz Radio System

​ Interoperability refers to the ability of emergency responders to work seamlessly with other systems or products without any special effort. Wireless communications interoperability specifically refers to the ability of emergency response officials to share information via voice and data signals on demand, in real time, when needed, and as authorized.

Interoperability is often thought of only in terms of technology, but it actually embraces three critical elements:

  1. People (human factors such as attitudes, training, capabilities, and experience)
  2. Processes (patterns, plans, procedures and problem-solving)
  3. Technology (the actual systems and equipment) Interoperability relies on convergence of People, Processes, and Technology Stakeholders from government, industry, academia, and volunteer organizations recognize the need for interoperability and acknowledge its criticality. Although they agree on the need for interoperability, the scope and implementation requirements remain challenging, and both technical and political barriers encumber it.

Lessons Learned

Ray Lehr, Maryland's Interoperability Director, writes how the lessons learned from the planning and deployment of the statewide 700MHz radio system can help other States working with FirstNet on the launch of the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network. Read the article here.