Fire Fighting in Canada

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Chiefs applaud designation of spectrum for public safety

March 28, 2012, Ottawa - The three emergency services groups that have worked together to encourage Ottawa to set aside a portion of the 700 MHz band for public safety broadband use said Wednesday they applaud the government's first step in designating a segment of the spectrum for first responders.

March 28, 2012
By Carey Fredericks

Industry Minister Christian Paradis said earlier this month that Ottawa is reviewing the implication of the designation  by the United States of the D-block of the spectrum for public safety use and will consult stakeholders on a similar option for Canadian first responders.

In February, the U.S. Congress agreed to allocate an additional block of bandwidth to public safety and support the development of a mission-critical, nationwide public safety broadband network. The United States had already allocated 10 MHz to broadband; the inclusion of the D Block it gave public safety 20 MHz of broadband.

In Canada, a committee of police, fire and EMS chiefs have been advocating for a 20 MHz portion of the 700 MHz spectrum to ensure seamless communication among responders.

“We  are  encouraged  by  the  government  of  Canada’s  intention  to  mirror  the  U.S. allocation, which  will  improve  the  ability  of  emergency  responders  to  protect  communities  and  save  lives,”   said Chief Rob   Simonds,   president   of   the   Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs.  “Spectrum   allocations   are   essential   to the Canadian Tri-Services’ vision of improved interoperability and integrated emergency management.”

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The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs, and Emergency Medical Services Chiefs of Canada also said Wednesday that they recognize the strong leadership role played by the Canadian Interoperability Technology Interest Group to in bring this issue to the forefront.

For more information on 700 MHz Broadband for Mission Critical Public Safety Data, visit www.action700.ca.