31. Ohio SCIP and NIMS

On July 30th I promised to prepare a program on communications interoperability for District 3 DEC Bob, KC8WHK.  I also promised it for the August 6th net.  That was three weeks ago.  Sorry, Bob.
Anyway, the State of Ohio has a carefully crafted Statewide Communications Interoperability Plan (SCIP), available to any and all interested parties at  http://ema.ohio.gov/Documents/pdfs/Ohio_Interop_Appendices.pdf.  Approved in March of 2008, it hasn’t been updated since.  But while some of the annexes grow old and gray, the main body of this 345page document is still useful and in force.

Section 5.3.2 of the plan requires all political jurisdictions within Ohio to eventually become fully National Incident Management System (NIMS) compliant.  NIMS includes formal training, such as the IS-100 ICS course, preparing emergency plans, exercising those plans, adjusting the plans based on exercise and actual incident outcomes, and starting the training, planning, exercising and reviewing cycle all over again.  While NIMS compliance is not a requirement for non-governmental organizations (NGOs) under this plan, Ohio does promote and encourage it.  Any Ohio ARES members who also carry local government IDs would be bound by NIMS.

Ohio Red Cross staff members are a special case.  A previous Ohio Attorney General ruled that in Ohio the American Red Cross is a quasi-governmental organization, not an NGO.  That’s why my chapter’s vehicles bear license plates marked Government.  It is not clear to me if Red Cross staff members must be NIMS compliant under Ohio law, but it’s a moot point because the American National Red Cross is definitely heading in that direction today.

I never did get around to discussing the topic of interoperability this week, did I?  Oh well, there’s always next Wednesday!  Sorry again, Bob.