The Kansas Statewide Interoperability Executive Committee (SIEC)
When the Kansas Regional Homeland Security Councils were formed in late 2005, many of the regions began planning and funding interoperable communications projects; but soon it became evident that the regions were not necessarily coordinating their efforts. In response, communications project leaders from each region began meeting quarterly to share information on communications projects in hope of aligning efforts and avoiding unnecessary duplication of services.
From this informal group, a statewide initiative was created. In July of 2007 a full-time Interoperable Communications Coordinator was employed by the Kansas Adjutant General. The Coordinator was tasked with the creation and implementation of a statewide governance structure and a strategic plan addressing interoperable emergency communications. Later that year, the Kansas Statewide Interoperability Executive Committee (SIEC) was chartered by the Kansas Commission on Emergency Planning and Response. The SIEC met in its first formal meeting in November, 2007. During that meeting, it was decided by the members of the SIEC to pursue executive-level backing for its activities. From that decision, Governor Kathleen Sebelius signed Executive Order #07-27, which re-established the SIEC under executive jurisdiction.
The SIEC membership, comprised of 11 public officials from both state and local government, are the key decision makers on planning, policy, and procedures that will enhance communications interoperability throughout Kansas. Looking at communications interoperability from a statewide approach, the SIEC considers issues such as planning, training, standard operating procedures, technology-based standards, and grant fund management. This collaborative group of individuals is committed to maintaining a multi-jurisdictional and multi-disciplinary partnership between all levels of government as we work together to enhance our ability to communicate.
“The vision of the Kansas SIEC is that all federal, state, regional, and local agencies will be able to communicate in real time, across disciplines and jurisdictions to enable effective operations during both day-to-day, as well as emergency situations.”
“The mission of the Kansas SIEC is to develop and promote statewide interoperability standards and policies that will ensure interoperable communications across the state of Kansas.”
The Kansas Office of Emergency Communications
Upon the Kansas Adjutant General hiring two Communications Training and Exercise Specialists to assist the Interoperable Communications Coordinator, the Kansas Office of Emergency Communications was formed. Serving as staff for the Kansas SIEC, the KS-OEC works closely with public-safety practitioners throughout our state and nation to implement the strategies of the Statewide Communications Interoperability Plan. The KS-OEC provides communications related technical assistance to responders in the areas of planning, training, exercise, technology, and project development and implementation.