Office of Homeland Security
Communications Exercise to Focus on Interoperability

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, January 20, 2010  
Contact Information:  Michael Embry

Mary Pedersen
502-226-0241 (cell)

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Jan. 20, 2010) – More than 50 first responders will participate in a table top exercise Thursday, focusing on communications interoperability in response to a mass-casualty event.


“Excellence under duress comes from adequate preparation,” said Kentucky Office of Homeland Security (KOHS) Executive Director Tom Preston.  “This training occurs near the anniversary of last year’s devastating ice storm and precedes the World Equestrian Games by eight months.


“So we learn from past experience and plan for the future,” he added.  


The exercise is sponsored by KOHS in partnership with the Kentucky State Police.  On-site technical cooperation will come from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Emergency Communications. 


As one of eight major programs this year conducted by the KOHS Exercise and Evaluation Program, the emphasis focuses on sound decision-making in rapidly changing scenarios where life and property are at risk.


“A table top is critical for enhancing emergency communications because it offers first responders the opportunity to exercise components of plans and make necessary adjustments before an incident,” said Chris Essid, director of the DHS Office of Emergency Communications. 


Participating local and state agencies include fire, law enforcement, emergency management services, dispatch, communications technicians, and wireless interoperable communications leaders.


KOHS partners with the Kentucky Community and Technical College System and the Kentucky Fire Commission to manage the state exercise program.