Updated / Reviewed: March 30, 2013

Agency Responsible: Communications
Support Agencies: Sheriff
  Other Law Enforcement agencies
  Emergency Services
Attachment 1 Preparedness/Response Checklist
Also See
Annex Alert and Warning

This annex describes the County's Communications Systems and presents available communications sources, policies and procedures to be used by county government agencies during emergency situations.

  A. Situation
    1. Communications play a critical role in emergency operations. Communications networks and facilities exist and operate throughout the county. Properly coordinated, these facilities provide for effective and efficient response activities.
    2. The Emergency Communications Center is located in the 616 West Avenue, Lenoir, North Carolina.
  B. Assumption
    It is assumed that the communications system will survive and / or with stand the effects of a disaster. This annex will provide coordination of all communications systems during an emergency situation facilitating timely response activities.
  A. General
    1. Emergency Communications Systems and services used by the county are controlled by the Communications Director at the Emergency Communications Center in the EOC.
    2. The County Warning Point is operated 24 hours a day and serves as the Emergency Communications Center.
    3. The Emergency Services Director will notify the Communications Director to expand emergency communications as the situation requires.
    4. The Communications Director will implement emergency communications procedures and activate backup capabilities as necessary.

The Communications Director will notify appropriate personnel.

  B.  Specific
    1. Telephone Service
  1. BellSouth provides commercial telephone service.
  2. Mobile phone capability exists within the county with several vendors providing service.
    2. Two-Way Radio Systems
  1. The County’s Communications System is designated as the principal system to be used for direction and control activities. It provides voice communications between mobile units operated by department heads or chiefs of emergency service, etc.  The County Emergency Communications Center principle users as follows:

    • Sheriff
    • Emergency Management Coordinator
    • Fire Chiefs / Officer
    • Rescue Chiefs / Captains
    • Emergency Medical Services
    • County Maintenance Staff
  2. The following county departments, agencies, and organizations operate two-way radio systems:
    • The Sheriff’s Department
    • The Boards of Education
    • County Volunteer Fire Departments
    • Lenoir Police Departments
    • Lenoir City Fire Departments
    • Lenoir City Public Works Department
    • Caldwell County Rescue Squads
    • Caldwell Memorial Hospital
    • Caldwell County Emergency Medical Services.
  3. The following County Volunteer organizations operate two-way radio systems:
    • Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES)
    • Civil Air Patrol (CAP)
  4. Other two-way communications systems which may be used to communicate with the State EOC during emergencies include:
    • Division of Criminal Information (DCI)
    • State Emergency Management FM voice Radio Network
    • Commercial Telephone (Fax)
    • Amateur Radio Emergency Service
    • Internet and computer e-mail network
    • North Carolina Inter-City Police Network
    • Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES)
    • Civil Air Patrol Radio Systems
    • National Warning System (NAWAS)
    3. Terminal Communications Systems
      The following Communications systems have terminals or can be accessed from the Communications Center:
  1. Sheriff’s Department Radio System
  2. County Fire Protection Network
  3. State Hospital Network
  4. State Rescue Network
  5. Rescue Network
  6. Volunteer Network
  7. The Caldwell County ARES Network accessed from Emergency Management Director’s Office
  8. The local Area Police Network
  9. The Public Works / Utilities Network / Maintenance
  10. Highway Patrol
  11. Department of Transportation
    4. Other Communications System
      The following communication systems are available but not operated from the Communications Center:
  1. Caldwell County Civil Air Patrol Squadron

Attachment 1
Communications Preparedness/Response Checklist

  Communications Director or designee reports to the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to provide communications support, technical advice and assistance. Serve as the EOC Communications Officer or designate a qualified person to do so.
  Receive a situational briefing at the EOC. Ask questions and address concerns during the briefing.
  Receive mission assignments.
  Operate or assign personnel to operate communications equipment (i.e. two-way radios, satellite phone, telephone, computers, etc.).
  Communications Center Director/Supervisor
  Check all two-way radio equipment including primary and secondary systems to ensure operation and communications capability between the Communications Center, EOC, Incident Commander and units in the field.
  Brief all communications personnel regarding the emergency.
  Ensure the primary functions of the department are carried out (i.e. receipt and dispatch of emergency calls for service, etc.).
  Issue communications equipment as necessary to communications personnel and/or field personnel.
  Advise communications personnel to log all overtime hours and promptly report those hours.
  Receive and dispatch calls for service in accordance with procedure.
  Track emergency services resources (law enforcement, fire, EMS, etc.) and have knowledge of the location and availability of each unit, including total number of personnel.
  Monitor all available radio frequencies and computer traffic for messages or information that may be of value and report that information to the Emergency Operations Center communications officer.
  Advise the Emergency Operations Center when calls for services are exceeding or about to exceed the capabilities of the 911 system.
  Advise the Emergency Operations Center when there are insufficient communications personnel to promptly address the number of calls being received and dispatched and no other qualified personnel are available.
  Request additional personnel as needed.
  Request, as necessary, assistance through the EOC.
  Implement mutual aid agreements as needed.
  Provide food and essential supplies for on-duty communications personnel.
  Monitor primary radio system for system failures.
  If  primary radio system fails, switch to secondary or backup systems according to procedure. Report the failure according to procedure.
  Test all backup power sources regularly. Switch to backup power sources as needed according to procedure.
  Backup all computer files regularly. Anticipate computer and network failures.
  Debrief communications personnel and arrange for CISD (Critical Incident Stress Debriefing) as necessary or requested.
  Perform other duties or carry out assignments as required or requested within the scope of emergency communications.