2017 Vermont Statutes
Title 3 Appendix - Executive Orders
Chapter 20 - Internal Security And Public Safety
App 20-44 (No. 02-12) [Vermont Communications Board

Universal Citation: 3A V.S.A. § 20-44

Executive Order No. 20-44

(No. 02-12)

[Vermont Communications Board]

WHEREAS, a radio-based communication system that is truly interoperable, accessible to the various agencies, capable of providing voice and/or data transmission, and that provides coverage throughout Vermont, should be available among the various agencies to enable more effective coordination of response in time of emergency, such as Tropical Storm Irene and threats to homeland security; and

WHEREAS, Vermont's Homeland Security Unit has conducted various exercises and extensive studies through the Communications Study Group and Vermont Communications Board and concludes that it is imperative that there be common radio frequency communication among local, state and federal government agencies, and international and emergency responders in Canada; and

WHEREAS, the United States Department of Homeland Security requires, as a condition of federal funding, that each state have an approved Statewide Communications Interoperability Plan that is updated annually; and

WHEREAS, the Federal Communications Commission requires Public Safety Radio Pool licensees to achieve narrow-banding in order to create more frequencies for first responders by January 1, 2013;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT I, Peter Shumlin, by virtue of the power vested in me as Governor, do hereby re-establish and re-constitute the Vermont Communications Board.

I. Composition and Appointments

The Vermont Communications Board shall include members appointed by the Governor who represent Volunteer Firefighters, the Professional Fire Fighters of Vermont, the Vermont State Firefighters Association, the Vermont Career Fire Chiefs' Association, the Vermont Department of Health Emergency Medical Services (EMS), the Vermont Ambulance Association, the E-911 Board, the Vermont State Police, the Vermont Sheriffs' Association, the Vermont Association of Chiefs of Police, the Vermont Department of Fish & Wildlife/Law Enforcement Division, the Vermont Agency of Transportation, Vermont Emergency Management, the Vermont Division of Fire Safety, Vermont Criminal Justice Services, the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation, the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets, the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles, the Vermont League of Cities & Towns, the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development, the Vermont Department of Information and Innovation, a federal law enforcement agency, the American Red Cross, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and appropriate private community organizations. In addition, a full-time member of the Vermont National Guard will be appointed by the Governor as the Department of Defense liaison to the Vermont Communication Board.

Every three years, the Board shall elect a Chair to serve a three-year term.

II. Council Charge

A. Assessing Vermont's overall interoperable communications capability, policies, and needs;

B. Enhancing communication, coordination, and cooperation by establishing guidelines and principles to reduce jurisdictional conflicts;

C. Improving the policies, processes, and procedures on interoperability projects;

D. Developing strategies to establish a statewide VCALL/UCALL interoperable, accessible voice radio system for police, fire, and emergency service responders that links local, state, and federal agencies in Vermont as well as international and regional agencies in Canada and our neighboring states;

E. Recommending the use of any funds appropriated by the General Assembly for statewide interoperability to the Commissioner of Public Safety;

F. Ensuring that Vermont has a Statewide Communications Interoperability Plan that is updated annually;

G. Educating first responders on the Federal Communications Commission narrow-banding mandate for public safety land mobile radio systems operating in the 150-512 MHz radio bands to cease operating using 25 kHz efficiency technology and begin operating using at least 12.5 kHz efficiency technology by January 1, 2013; and

H. Reporting on Vermont's progress on achieving a statewide interoperability plan and the status and use of federal homeland security grant funds for this purpose to the Governor on or before September 1 of each year.

 III. Board Process

The Board shall meet at the call of the Chair and shall brief the Commissioner of Public Safety as needed on Vermont's interoperable communications policies and capability. The Chair may request participation of other public or private persons, including agency or department heads. The Chair shall have authority to appoint sub-committees as necessary and appropriate to carry out the functions and duties of the Board. The Chair will report findings to the Governor.

The Board shall establish a Steering Committee comprised of members of the Board that shall be accountable for management of the Statewide Communications Interoperability Plan including budgetary oversight, oversight of sub-committees, and the coordination and alignment with state, local and other entities of all planning, implementation and other activities related to the Statewide Plan along with alignment to the National Emergency Communications Plan (NECP).

The Board shall be attached to the Department of Public Safety for administrative support.

 IV. Effective Date

This Executive Order supersedes and replaces Executive Order No. 04-08 (codified as No. 20-36), which sunsets on January 31, 2012. Present members of the Board shall continue to serve until the expiration of their terms and may be re-appointed.

This order shall take effect upon signing and shall expire on January 31, 2022.

Dated January 17, 2012.

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