ORLANDO—IP-based vendor giant Cisco Systems announced its Solutions with Advanced Technologies (SWAT) program this week here at the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) conference.

While recognizing the existence of public-safety communications’ five layers—central headquarters, field headquarters, emergency operations centers, mobile command and control, and field personnel and vehicles—Cisco approaches the market differently than the traditional proprietary horizontal model, said Morgan Wright, Cisco’s global industry solutions manager for public safety.

“For too long, people have looked at this market and provided solutions targeted to one of those horizontal layers,” Wright said. “We’re saying you need to unify that chain of command, from headquarters to field personnel and vehicles. … [SWAT] is the first and only systemwide approach to public-safety communications.”

Using standards-based IP technology, SWAT helps public-safety agencies share information throughout the five layers via voice, video and data—all available to each layer in a mobile environment on any network or device. Together with its technology partners, Cisco is conducting a mobile command center demonstration that includes the Instant and Mobile Integrated Communications Solution (IMICS), which enables rapid deployment of communications services in the event of an incident or network outage.

Combined with the Tactical Communications Kit (TCK)—designed to enable secure communications in harsh conditions—from Cisco and CACI International, IMICS is an example of the manner in which Cisco solutions can be geared to meet each customer’s needs, Wright said.

“We can custom-fit technology to a customer without charging them the custom-fit price,” Wright said.

Other key partnerships related to public safety in the Cisco portfolio include WeatherBug, which offers localized weather information; Tandberg, which supplies a mobile video kit; and PlantCML, which is demonstrating how its IP-based 911 application can enable mobile units to establish 911 calling capability.