The Office for Interoperability and Compatibility (OIC) supports SAFECOM-related research, development, testing, evaluation and standards, and is managed by the Science and Technology Directorate. OIC oversees a wide range of public safety interoperability programs and efforts currently spread across Homeland Security. These programs address critical interoperability issues relating to public safety and emergency response, including communications, equipment, training, and other areas as needs are identified.
Strategies for States to Achieve Public Safety Wireless Interoperability
The lack of interoperable communications continues to be a serious, pressing public safety problem that severely undermines the ability of first responders to operate effectively during an emergency situation. The events of September 11, 2001, and the recent events of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita emphasize the urgent need for public safety departments and other agencies, including police, firefighters, transportation operators, and public health officials, to communicate reliably and effectively with each other when called upon in a crisis. Federal, state, and local governments are making progress towards an improved communications system; however, there is much to be done to build collaboration and planning for disaster communications. (See the Strategies Issue Brief, and also other related documents under "OIC Documents", top right)