APCO recommends communications restoration plan for Haiti
The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) has participated in discussions over plans to restore public-safety communications in Haiti following the 7.0-magnitude earthquake on Jan. 12.
The two known Haitian public-safety answering points (PSAPs) that answer 114 and 118 calls both reportedly were destroyed. The Haitian police land mobile radio (LMR) system, which consists of a three-site trunked system, also was reportedly destroyed, as was much of the wireline infrastructure. In addition, American assistance workers deployed in Haiti have limited ability to contact U.S. resources for emergency assistance.
The plan, supported by the National Joint TERT Initiative not only covers an immediate phased approach to a solution, but includes long-term support and training for the Haitian people. APCO’s plan suggests immediate development of a continuity of operations plan and, as one option, the establishment of a temporary PSAPs in the U.S. to which 114 and 118 calls can be redirected. Further, APCO recommends beginning restoration of Haitian PSAPs and training of new PSAP personnel within the next two months. In the next six months, APCO recommends returning the 114 and 118 calls back to a temporary PSAP in Haiti in an attempt to get back to normal emergency communications operations within a year. The plan does not identify funding mechanisms.