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What You Can Do to Improve Communications with Rural Neighbors

Derek Nesselrode  (Emergency Communications Coordinator, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA))

Dent Guynes  (Statewide Interoperability Coordinator, Mississippi Wireless Communication Commission)

Christine Massengale  (Statewide Interoperability Coordinator, TN Department of Safety & Homeland Security)

Burford Hurley II  (Mayor of Flatwoods, and Dir. of Greenup County Public Safety, Flatwoods, Kentucky)

Location: W230A

Date: Tuesday, March 26

Time: 10:20 am - 11:20 am

Track: State & Local Government, First Responder Communications

Topic: Funding, Interoperability, System Resiliency

Format: Panel Session

Vault Recording: TBD

The average rural community struggles to find the time and resources to complete necessary trainings, update equipment and software, and hire needed personnel. Therefore, these communities need tailored support that works with their time and resource constraints. Risks and threats are always easier to manage when there is ample, funding, time, and personnel, but it is important to still prioritize rural communities that may lack these resources. If left without the proper guidance and support, rural communities can become the weak links in communications supply chains. This can be especially dangerous if they are linked into larger 911 systems, as their weaknesses become the weaknesses of an even larger system. This panel would discuss best practices for supporting under-resourced communities and ways to maximize interoperability and communications on a tight budget. Examples of topics to discuss are coordinating projects with surrounding jurisdictions, prioritizing direct invitations to rural jurisdictions for trainings and exercises, and creating best practices to specifically support under-resourced areas. Learn best practices to maximize your resources and support your local communities.

Key Takeaways
1. Attendees would learn how to maximize tight budgets in rural communities.
2. Learn how the risks of smaller rural PSAPs impact a larger network of PSAPs.
3. Learn how supporting state and local governments in rural communities through participating in governance structures can have ripple effects in interoperability and security across the region.