Validating a method for enhanced communications and situational awareness at the incident command level
Graham, James H.
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The availability and interoperability of communications at an incident scene have long been recognized as high-priority problems that need to be addressed to improve our nation's Homeland Security and preparedness. This thesis describes a proposed methodology to address these issues at the Incident Command level while enhancing situational awareness and information sharing. The thesis analyzes the results of a research project funded by the Department of Homeland Security at the University of Louisville's IT Research Center for Homeland Security. The problem being addressed is that the decision-maker with the boots on the ground, the Incident Commander, needs relevant information in the early stages of the emergency at the incident scene and an efficient way to communicate with other resources. The research project fielded a prototype solution based on readily available commercial off-the-shelf components integrated in a man-portable configuration to provide maximum flexibility, lower costs, and ease of operations. A proposed concept of operations in various prevention and response environments was also recommended in the thesis after analyzing the results of several field exercises and interviews with users.
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