Mobile Satellite Ventures (MSV) has joined with the state of Washington's Military Department Emergency Management Division to launch the NorthWest Satellite Mutual Aid Radio Talkgroup (NWSMART) serving public safety interests throughout seven states in the northwestern United States including Alaska, California, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming.
NWSMART is the fifth in a planned network of nine regionally focused, locally managed talkgroups across the nation enabling critical and interoperable communications at all levels of public safety agencies and facilities.
In coordination with MSV, the Washington State Emergency Management Division including its state Emergency Operations Center will manage, provide 24x7 monitoring, and approve participation in NWSMART by federal, tribal, state, and local public safety agencies—and appropriate private sector users with a public safety mission.
"Such emergencies as flooding in the midwest and south, severe summer storms in the east, and wildfires in the west can occur anywhere across the nation—from rural to highly populated centers," said Susan Miller, senior vice president of Satellite Services for MSV. "To respond rapidly and efficiently, officials need multi-agency emergency communications that can be brought online quickly. The NWSMART, along with four other regional satellite mutual aid radio talkgroups supported by MSV and managed by separate public safety agencies, are designed to simplify public safety communications interoperability, particularly when terrestrial networks are damaged or congested."
The NWSMART multi-state regional talkgroup is provided by MSV to facilitate rapid, reliable, and interoperable communications over satellite for public safety operations and emergency responders. Working with state and local public safety agencies, MSV has already helped establish regional SMART talkgroups serving 30 states throughout the United States—from the east to west coasts and in several U.S. territories.
NWSMART joins a rapidly expanding family of nationwide and regionally focused talkgroups provided by MSV but managed and controlled by the organizing federal, tribal, state, or local agency. The family of talkgroups includes nationwide public safety and national security/emergency preparedness talkgroups managed by the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security's National Communications System (NCS).
All public safety organizations with active accounts on the MSV network are eligible and encouraged to join NWSMART at no charge by way of application to the Washington State Emergency Management Division. A copy of the Standard Operating Procedures and application are available from: NWSMART@emd.wa.gov.