First Responders Operating on Different Frequencies: Research Provides Important Insights
April 24, 2007

Ottawa, April 24, 2007...Interoperability of communication technologies between First Responders - especially among those in the same community - is identified as a primary concern for Canadian first responders, according to an interim report released today by CATAAlliance.

The interim report provides a glimpse into a national consultation of Canada's First Responder community: the nation's Police, Fire and Emergency Medical Service personnel. Titled Keeping Canadians Safe, the report provides a select sampling of the results to-date of the ongoing study, which, when completed, will seek to provide a comprehensive situational analysis of the first responders technology, R&D, and emergency preparedness capabilities and needs.

Themes emerging from the preliminary results include:

  • An underlying concern of First Responders for their own safety and their capacity to cope with large scale events

  • A lack of consistent communication technology standards pose a threat to first responder organizations' ability to effectively communicate with one another in a time of crises

  • First responders indicated they are 'dissatisfied' or 'very dissatisfied' with the functionality of various communications products

  • An overall lack of funding for technology needs

  • The need for more investments in wireless technology and applications

  • A voiced need for a centralized research centre that acts as a National hub and training/demonstration centre

"We congratulate the government on the decision in the recent budget to invest $10 million in CPRC to establish a new national research facility that works with industry to meet the needs of first responders.", said John Reid, President, CATAAlliance.

"This report will provide CPRC and industry partners with solid advice on the challenges facing first responders in their rapidly evolving world, and the tools, processes and technology needed that meet their requirements in the field," says Kevin Wennekes, VP Research for CATAAlliance. "It also allows Fire and EMS professionals a ground-level opportunity to influence CPRC programs as the new 'Public Safety' research centre is being established in Regina".

The study is ongoing until the end of April with a final report of the full study planned for released in May 2007. The interim report - originally available only to First Responder groups and used to raise greater awareness around the study - is now being released to CATA stakeholders as a demonstration of some of the areas the final report will address.

Action Item:
For a complimentary copy of the interim report, please contact John Reid, CATAAlliance President, at johnreid@attglobal.net