16th May 2011
Head of DHA Communications Division to address international conference
THE head of the Department of Home Affairs Communications Division will deliver a keynote presentation at a conference in Poland next month.
Technical Director Robert Williamson has been invited to address an international audience on the management of emergency communications networks.
His presentation to the ‘Freedom and Security’ conference in Gdansk will focus on the benefits of the TETRA (Terrestrial Trunked Radio) system which is used by 21 different agencies across the Isle of Man Government, including the emergency services.
The event takes place on June 15-17 and will be attended by crisis management staff and senior representatives from the Army, Police and border authorities in Poland and further afield.
Officials in Poland are currently considering the future development of the country’s communications network and are keen to learn from the Isle of Man’s experience in this sector.
The Island’s Communications Division, which is part of the Department of Home Affairs, is recognised as a global leader in integrated communications after establishing the TETRA system and Emergency Services Joint Control Room (ESJCR) in April 2004.
The ESJCR is the envy of emergency service providers across the world and has handled more than nine million TETRA calls and 237,000 emergency 999 calls since it became operational.
Mr Williamson, whose costs are being met by the conference organisers, said:
‘The Isle of Man is held up as best practice and a lot of organisations have looked at adopting our working methods. Whereas most countries have separate control rooms to deal with police, fire and ambulance 999 calls, the Island has an integrated system that allows everything to be handled under one roof. This can improve the coordination of multi-agency emergency incidents, reduce response times and ultimately help to save lives.
Officials in Poland have a particular interest in how TETRA can be used in the organisation of a major sporting event. I’ll be able to share our experience of using TETRA during the TT and how we manage the huge influx of visitors and vehicles. All our police officers, fire crews, ambulance teams, marshals, race controllers, vehicles and helicopters use TETRA during the festival. Put simply, the TT could not run without it.’
The conference in Poland will also provide an opportunity to network with communications officers in other countries and keep abreast of current developments.
Home Affairs Minister Adrian Earnshaw MHK said:
‘Being invited to address an international audience of key decision-makers reflects the high regard in which the Isle of Man is held within the communications industry. Where appropriate, we are always willing to share our knowledge and expertise with other countries and demonstrate what can be achieved in terms of delivering a high quality communications infrastructure.’