DHS distributes ICRI interoperable communication system to 43 communities

Published 19 July 2006

DHS is making a point of helping small and resource-poor communicates equip their emergency and first-response forces with interoperable communication gear; in the latest round, DHS has distributed interoperable equipment from Virginia-based C-AT to 43 communities

DHS will provide forty-three communities in the United States with the Incident Commanders’ Radio Interface (ICRI), a small, battery-powered “bridge” enabling first responders to talk during an emergency. The ICRI is a product of Reston, Virginia-based Communications-Applied Technology (C-AT), and it allows incompatible radios, satellite phones, and VoIP devices to communicate with each other. Final awards were made through Phase II of the Commercial Equipment Direct Assist Program (CEDAP), a DHS initiative which sends equipment directly to smaller jurisdictions which have difficulties in finding and funding technology for homeland security and mutual aid missions.

ICRIs were used by emergency units throughout the hurricane-affected Gulf region. The system is compliant with the U.S. DHS RapidCom 9/30 requirement for interoperability deployment in less than one hour. The ICRI was one of two radio interoperability devices made available through CEDAP.

CEDAP is administered by the Office for State and Local Government Coordination and Preparedness. It is designed for first responder agencies and security units serving populations under 100,000. CEDAP received more than 4,000 applications, and CEDAP Phase II has made more than 1,100 awards to communities seeking equipment for communications interoperability, information sharing, chemical detection, sensor devices, and personal protection. Another CEDAP phase is planned in 2006. The estimated start date for the application period is 1 August 2006.