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Interoperability and Information Sharing

The interoperability and information sharing projects of the Western Region Homeland Security Advisory Council are initiated and overseen by its subcommittee – the Western Massachusetts Regional Interoperability Committee (WMRIC). WMIRC’s mission is is to develop recommendations for policy and guidelines; identify technology and standards; and coordinate municipal, state, and private resources to assist/facilitate/improve/strengthen first responder interoperability in the region. Membership on the committee is open to any interested first responder/municipal leader from western Massachusetts. An executive committee comprised of representatives from the six identified public safety interoperability systems in western Massachusetts and six at-large members makes all final recommendations of WMRIC. If you are interested in participating, please contact Raine Brown, Homeland Security Program Manager.

The following projects are an example of some WMRIC’s recent projects.

Hilltown IMC

A centralize records management platform was established for fourteen police departments in the Hilltowns of Hampshire and Hampden Counties providing a standard data repository. This repository is, in turn, connected to a large information sharing hub already in place, facilitating data/information sharing to other connected agencies throughout the Commonwealth. Departments now have access to vital information, can readily share and obtain information across the Commonwealth, and experience improved operational coordination. The improved access and integrated sharing  enhances departments’ ability to mitigate, interdict, and respond to potential acts of foreign or domestic terrorism.

Westcomm System Key

WESTCOMM Regional Dispatch located in Chicopee serves several communities in Hampden County, MA. WESTCOMM operates on Kenwood dispatching consoles and equipment. Many surrounding departments and agencies utilize Motorola made radios and equipment.  The Motorola radios are not interoperable with WESTCOMM Kenwood system. A Motorola programming key was installed in the WESTCOMM system now allowing interoperability across the two brands of equipment. This facilitates communication especially in times of mutual response or large planned events which depend on multiple departments and disciplines for support.

WMLEC Rapid Comm Trailer and Command Pod

Both these units are deployable assets which can be used during emergency response incidents or large planned events where system patching, extended coverage, or addressing communication gaps caused by terrain issues are present. The Rapid Comm trailer is a pull behind unit with multiple repeaters, radios and mast antenna. This unit can be utilized as a temporary fix if a tower or dispatch antenna is damaged. The Command Pod is a portable unit which can be transported in the back of a truck or via a hitch-mount cargo carrier. To learn more about the units and how to borrow them, see WRHSAC’s Resource Guide.