The Department of Homeland Security today released a report ranking municipalities around the nation on progress made in creating interoperable emergency communications systems. The report ranked the greater Portland area among the top five most advanced metropolitan areas in the nation. Senator Collins has made interoperable communications a priority in the Senate Homeland Security Committee. In addition, the bill to strengthen FEMA, which she authored and was recently signed into law, includes a provision to improve interoperable communications throughout the nation.
Senator Collins released this statement on today’s DHS scorecard:
“I am proud of Portland for this notable accomplishment. Though hard work and the vision and coordination of state, local, and federal officials, Portland stands out as a national leader in its ability to better prepare for and respond to an emergency though its innovative interoperable communications system.
“While effective interoperable communications systems include ongoing planning and evaluation, it is my hope that communities across the nation will look to Portland as an example of how these critical systems can be put into place and implemented.
“On a national level, a great deal of work remains to be done. Interoperable communications continues to be a priority though my work on the Homeland Security Committee.”
In its report, DHS ranked the metropolitan area of Portland, Maine among the top five most advanced metropolitan areas in its assessment. In total, there were 22 metropolitan areas, 48 urban areas, and 5 territories that were examined. These scorecards were developed by expert individuals that reviewed current communications plans, exercises, and a self-assessment to arrive at findings and recommendations for each region.