News Story


Countywide Interoperable Emergency Communication Plan Praised by Grand Jury
6/9/2011 6:47:00 AM



Grand Jury Praises Efforts to Achieve Countywide
Interoperable Emergency Communications

On June 2, 2011, the Ventura County Grand Jury released their 2010 study on interoperable communications in Ventura County. The purpose of the study was to assess communication capabilities among first responder agencies in the County. The report credits the Emergency Telecommunications Committee (ETC) of the Ventura County Operational Area Emergency Planning Council (EPC) and the Ventura County Board of Supervisors with making 'significant progress in improving emergency communications interoperability.' The EPC, established in 2008, is a collaborative organization comprised of leaders from government, schools, the military, non-profits and the private sector responsible for establishing emergency planning priorities and approving emergency plans for the Ventura County Operational Area.

Dan Richards, Deputy CIO - Network Services, a department within IT Services, for the County of Ventura and Assistant Chief Mike La Plant of the Ventura County Fire Department are Co-Chairs of the EPC Emergency Telecommunications Committee. The ETC Committee was established last year to look at ways to improve countywide communication systems and is comprised of communication representatives from throughout the Ventura County Operational Area. The ETC recently recommended that a communications 'gap analysis' be conducted to help identify the county's communication needs.

According to Dan Richards, 'the Grand Jury was very impressed with our collective approach to interoperability and the communication that seemed to be in place between the various first responder organizations. I am glad that this was reflected in their report and I am personally excited to be a part of this these efforts.'

County and city leaders agree that this is a great example of interagency/organization cooperation and team work. 'We are very impressed with the all organizations that serve and respond to crisis in our operational area. Their willingness to put aside extraneous concerns and issues to insure that the needs of the public come first are admirable,' says Supervisor Linda Parks who is the current Chair of the Emergency Planning Council.

'Despite the fiscal and economic pressures we all face, this is an effort that we can all take pride in. The focus now has to be on continuing the push for better communications, technology, training and processes. It will be critical to support the plans that we have in place and the goals that we will continue to set' says Richards.

Administrator Preparing Release: Laura Hernandez, EPC Executive Administrator
Follow-up Contact: Dan Richards, Deputy CIO - Network Services, Ventura County Information Technology Department 805-677-8777
Approved By: EPC Executive Leadership
Date of Release: June 2, 2011

Ventura County Sheriff's Department
800 N Victoria Ave
San Buenaventura, CA 93003

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 805-654-9511