IC Zone Interoperability

In October 2019, the Executive Council approved a plan to consolidate the old nine Incident Command Zones to three new Interoperability Zones.  This change made use of the Interoperability Zones more straightforward and less confusing for member organizations.  Each of the new zones will be regionally located around the state – Northern, Central, and Southeast – each zone will have 16 channels with a standardized layout:

  • 1 Regional “CALL” (Dispatch HAIL/ALL CALL) talkgroup
  • 5 Common talkgroups
  • 1 Multigroup talkgroup
  • 9 Simplex/Conventional

The complete Interoperability Zone lineup can be found in the ALMR Concept of Operation (CONOP) located under Governing Documents.

Further Information:

We have forwarded the attached ALMR Interoperability Zone Smart Card chart to the officer that is in charge of the portable radios and I do believe the patrol vehicle radios as well. Is there anything other than the January 2022 timeline for change over completion that I need to inform him of?2021-01-19T15:16:58-09:00

Not at this time – just know that it may need to become a training discussion/reinforcement to rely upon and refer to the smart cards until all radios are reprogrammed with the correct Interop channels names. 

Was there any sort of training put together for the dispatchers to know how to operate it if/when need be?2021-01-19T15:16:31-09:00

We are in the process of discussing training for the next quarter and console/dispatch feedback on training is causing us to consider developing a training. Specifically something of a scenario based training to walk dispatchers through how to pull up the Interop Channels and their intended use. 

We currently do not have any of the “Hail” channels on our dispatch radio monitors. Is this something we SHOULD have? With this transition, is this something we will now have?2021-01-19T15:17:31-09:00

IF you currently do not have or monitor the IC Zone Hail channel, this change to the consoles are not meant to suggest a change any of your current SOPs. IF your organization would like to have the Interop Zone Hail, it can be added at any time by reaching out to the ALMR Helpdesk.

How long will it take to for the change over to occur?2021-01-19T15:12:10-09:00

Seconds to minutes – it will happen very quickly

Will there be any sort of disruption that would deem it necessary for us to have some sort of backup radio plan in place?2021-01-19T15:11:21-09:00

No, we do not expect any such disruption. However, it is always best to be prepared with your backup plan. 

How will this affect our being able to use the radio console during the time the change over is occurring?2021-01-19T15:10:43-09:00

It will not effect any active call or cause a console to be unavailable. Once the console is updated – resources of the old IC Zone naming convention will be renamed to reflect the new Interop Channels for that zone. You will see those changes when you do a restart of the application (closing it with the X in the top right and then relaunching it – this is not the same thing as a reboot). Other IC zone resources which may have be on the consoles that are going away will simply disappear.

Has it been determined who will monitor the ALL CALL/HAIL Channels?2021-01-06T13:07:54-09:00

We have had that discussion internally and we are suggesting that Fairbanks AST would be the primary for the North Interoperability Zone with Fairbanks City as the secondary, MATCOM would be primary for the Central Interoperability Zone with both Soldotna AST and Anchorage City as secondary, and Ketchikan AST would be covering the Southeast Interoperability Zone.

I don’t know if this is a question for today or just a comment for us to look at as we develop this, but for instance, the Central area encompasses multiple large dispatch centers. I think it may be helpful for us to go through with those dispatch managers on the protocol as far as who is assigning what, those types of things, and how they’re going to work together if there are multiple folks monitoring or if only one dispatch center is kind of responsible for assigning.  These are things I can see and there was some questions that came from my dispatch manager about that. Maybe that is something to put on the list as we go down this path.2021-01-06T13:07:08-09:00

We will work on setting up a conversational meeting with Central area dispatch organizations to talk this through. It would be good to have a couple scenarios to talk through when we meet. From this meeting we can devise some takeaways and training ideas for North and South East…Stay Tuned!

I see the dispatchers are going to be monitoring the channels and then assigning command talkgroups, so as far as training goes, will there be something that I can give my dispatchers or even train my dispatchers how to assign those talkgroups2021-01-06T13:06:21-09:00

We will work on that and provide more information prior to January 20, 2021.

Are all of the dispatch centers monitoring all the calling channels or is it going to be segmented by region?2021-01-06T13:08:34-09:00

The intention is to be segmented by the region.  The one probable exception to that is Fairbanks AST will have to have the Southeast since they tend to dispatch for Ketchikan and that area quite a bit

We talked about this before, that the old E Region goes into the new Central, so what used to be considered down on the Peninsula is now considered Central, correct?2021-01-06T13:04:50-09:00


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