Homeland Security and Emergency Services

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Created by the enactment of Executive Law 26, section 717, the Office of Interoperable and Emergency Communications (OIEC) is the principal state agency for all interoperable and emergency communications issues and oversees and directs the development, coordination and implementation of policies, plans, standards, programs and services related to interoperable and emergency communications, including those related to land mobile radio communications. 

The Director of OIEC also serves as the Statewide Interoperable and Emergency Communication Coordinator and chair of the Statewide Interoperable Emergency Communication Governance Board.

What is Interoperability?

SAFECOM defines interoperability as, "the ability of emergency responders to work seamlessly with other systems or products without any special effort.  Wireless communications interoperability specifically refers to the ability of emergency response officials to share information via voice and data signals on demand, in real time, when needed, and as authorized. For example, when communications systems are interoperable, police and firefighters responding to a routine incident can talk to each other to coordinate efforts.  Communications interoperability also makes it possible for emergency response agencies responding to catastrophic accidents or disasters to work effectively together."

It is broadly understood that Communications Interoperability serves as a vital tool for public safety and public service professionals, whether they are responding to a major incident, conducting a task force operation, or coordinating responses to daily events. This capability can provide life-saving support and can streamline response coordination efforts under a myriad of circumstances, including incidents that employ emergency responders from multiple agencies or jurisdictions. To maximize such a capability, New York State recognizes that an agency must be operable before it can be interoperable across agencies and jurisdictions.