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What Is Interoperability and Why Is It Important to Hawaii?

To do their jobs effectively, public safety responders depend on sophisticated communications systems to relay mission-critical information in real time. Today’s wireless communications systems must support an ever expanding set of missions, such as responses to domestic terrorism and weapons of mass destruction, requiring coordinated participation from agencies at all levels of government. Interoperability, or the ability for emergency responders to communicate among jurisdictions, disciplines, and levels of government, using a variety of frequency bands as needed and as authorized, is crucial to responders.

The Statewide Interoperability Coordinator (SWIC) plays an integral role in establishing and maintaining statewide governance systems and bringing together stakeholders from the broad spectrum of public safety communications in order to coordinate interstate, intrastate, and regional public safety communications interoperability.

Partner Initiatives

The SWIC works with emergency response leaders across all levels of government to implement a statewide strategic vision for interoperability. This includes federal, state and county radio and data communications systems that are utilized by first responders and other government agencies to ensure public safety and protection of property.

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County – Communications Training

Beginning in September 2017, the Office of Homeland Security (OHS) in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Emergency Communications (OEC) have offered multiple technical assistance courses to enhance the capabilities of emergency responders and government officials to communicate in the event of natural disasters, acts of terrorism, or other man-made disasters. These…

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State – HIWIN

The Hawaii Wireless Interoperability Network (HIWIN) is a statewide Land Mobile Radio network which supports the State government first responders and state agencies. It consists of a vast system of sites connected by the State’s Anuenue microwave network and is built to public safety standards including survivability of hurricanes up to a CAT 4 designation.…

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Federal – FirstNet

In August 2017, Hawaii became the 16th state or territory to “opt-in” to FirstNet and bring advanced technologies that will help first responders save lives and protect communities.  FirstNet, or First Responder Network Authority, is an independent authority within the U.S. Department of Commerce authorized by Congress in 2012 to develop, build and operate the…

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Training, Exercises, and Certification

The Hawaii State Office of Homeland Security provides training activities and exercises to help prepare emergency responders for critical incidents and also helps them work toward specific communication certifications. These certifications allow them to participate in nation-wide responses to disasters.

See all training opportunities

About SWIC

The Department of Homeland Security’s National Emergency Communications Plan (NECP) recommended that every state should have a single point of contact for interoperable emergency communications. The SWIC fulfills this role by facilitating communications among responders during emergencies and is an important asset when responding to planned and unplanned events.

SWIC role graphic