Fire EMS, Firefighting, Legal

USFA Collaborates with NIPC

The United States Fire Administration (USFA) has collaborated with the National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC) for the interim use of the National Law Enforcement Telecommunication System (NLETS) to provide more timely and complete threat and critical infrastructure protection (CIP) information to a larger segment of the fire and emergency medical services. NLETS is a sophisticated message-switching network linking local, State, and Federal agencies together for the expeditious exchange of interstate law enforcement and public safety related information.

According to this temporary arrangement, effective February 17, when NIPC information is particularly applicable to firefighters and emergency medical personnel as determined by USFA, it will be forwarded by NLETS to police agencies with special directions. A message header will request that the information be disseminated as soon as possible to the local fire and EMS chief officers because of the nature of the information and necessity for preparedness. The information will always be limited to official use only and never for general public consumption.

Major law enforcement associations are being contacted by the NIPC to acquire their assistance in announcing this initiative throughout their membership and to obtain their support for its success. Therefore, USFA recommends that chief officers of the fire and emergency medical community take time now to discuss this development with their local police officials. Agreements should be concluded regarding how the transfer of this information will quickly and easily occur within their locality.

The USFA Critical Infrastructure Protection Information Center (CIPIC) will continue to develop CIP news and information technology for the fire and EMS sector during 2003. There are high expectations that this sector will have its own dedicated electronic messaging system in the near future. Once implemented and tested, the new USFA CIPIC List Server should eliminate the dependence on NLETS for sector-wide distribution of essential CIP information.

Watch for more information about the USFA CIPIC listserv at http://www.usfa.fema.gov/dhtml/fire-service/cipc.cfm.

Please direct any questions or concerns to the CIPIC at (301) 447-1325 or [email protected].