P25 | 2020-07-03

New Value Analysis Guide and Brochure Help Agencies Evaluate Emergency Communications Cost Effectiveness

Source: The Critical Communications Review | Gert Jan Wolf editor

To help agencies determine right-sized solutions that strike the balance between cost and value, SAFECOM & NCSWIC, in partnership with the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency, developed the Emergency Communications Systems Value Analysis Guide.

Throughout 2019, SAFECOM and the National Council of Statewide Interoperability Coordinators (NCSWIC) recognized the growing competition for public safety funding and the need to analyze various features of communications systems and equipment. To help agencies determine right-sized solutions that strike the balance between cost and value, SAFECOM and NCSWIC, in partnership with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), developed the Emergency Communications Systems Value Analysis Guide. The guide compiles recommendations, best practices, and considerations for public safety agencies to evaluate cost effectiveness, including:

  • Descriptions, costs, and expected lifespans of common emergency communications systems;
  • Key features of emergency communication systems and equipment based on user position and responsibility; and
  • Value Analysis Checklist, which summarizes analysis questions across common system components and serves as a tool to identify public safety user requirements.

The accompanying brochure, Understanding the Value of Public Safety Communications Systems: A Brochure for Elected Officials and Decision-Makers, provides key considerations and trade-offs between cost and value of communications systems components (e.g., Infrastructure, Fixed Station Equipment, Devices, Accessories, Features, and Software and Data Storage). The brochure serves as a leave-behind for decision-makers to better understand public safety requirements and solutions aligned with their strategic goals, while allowing agencies to save costs where possible.

SAFECOM and NCSWIC recommend public safety agencies reference these documents in preparation for annual budget planning and cost estimation. For more information, including additional guidance and resources, please visit the SAFECOM and NCSWIC Funding Resources page at cisa.gov/safecom/funding.