The Emergency Communications Advisory Council (ECAC) was created to provide the Governor and the Department of Public Safety with input on emergency communications in Vermont.
As the initial deployment of the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network continues through 2022, DPS and the Governor's Office will require feedback and evaluation of the network rollout in Vermont from the public safety community. The NPSBN will provide a cellular type coverage to first responders, with priority and pre-emption features. The First Responder Network Authority, or FirstNet, is a federal agency formed to ensure the building, deployment and operation of the NPSBN. Following a 15-month national RFP process, AT&T was selected as FirstNet's commercial partner to build and operate the network.
In forming the advisory council it was recognized that the NPSBN will interface with other types of emergency communication, such as Next Generation 911, Land Mobile Radio, microwave and fiber-based systems. The advisory council will provide input on how Vermont's public safety community may best use the evolving broadband technology with the current systems now in use.
For more information on FirstNet in Vermont, visit the FirstNet page on this web site.
Advisory Council Charge
The purpose of the Council is to:
- Advise the Governor on issues related to the NPSBN and on emergency communications, generally, in Vermont;
- Advise on the needs of Vermont's public safety community as it relates to FirstNet and the need for an interoperable, robust, reliable and affordable cellular broadband network, including advice on the placement of fixed network assets and deployables;
- Advise on protocols and policies related to the NPSBN and, as needed, on emergency communications generally; and
- Advise on planning activities needed to prepare Vermont's public safety community for emergency communications technology transitions.
The Governor will appoint the members of the advisory council to three-year terms. The initial appointment of advisory council members will be staggered so that the terms of no more than four members will expire during a calendar year. Council members will be appointed from the Vermont State Firefighters Association; Professional Firefighters of Vermont; Vermont Fire Coalition; municipal law enforcement; Sheriffs; and Emergency Medical Service personnel.
The advisory council will also include the Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety, or designee; the Director of Vermont Emergency Management; the Statewide Interoperability Coordinator from the Department of Public Safety; the Colonel of the Vermont State Police, or designee; the Executive Director of the Enhanced 9-1-1 Board, or designee; the Commissioner of the Department of Public Service, or designee; the Secretary of the Agency of Transportation, or designee; and the Secretary of Digital Services, or designee.
In appointing council members, consideration will be given to the different geographical regions of Vermont and the need for balance between rural and urban areas. All advisory council members will serve at the pleasure of the Governor and all will be voting members. A list of advisory council members will be available soon.