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KSAFC 2017 Conference

Garden City, KS
October 20, 21 & 22, 2017
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Future Dates
KSAFC 2018 Conference
Garden City, KS
October 2018



2017 Conference
Breckenridge, CO
July 28-30, 2017
CONFERENCE INFO



Fire-Rescue International


Charlotte, NC
July 26-28, 2017




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Announcements


Governor Brownback opts-in to FirstNet

On August 15, 2017 Governor Brownback officially opts-in with FirstNet to provide Kansas responders with their own dedicated Public Safety Broadband network.

The terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 had demonstrated the lack of critical communications ability for First Responders in a fast evolving crisis. The need for a single interoperable communication system for Fire Service, Law Enforcement, Medics and other Public Safety entities is paramount to situational awareness, sharing of information and quick efficient communications between jurisdictions and various Public Safety disciplines. This will help us to stay safe during our routine daily activities as well as major disasters. FirstNet will also enable first responders to better protect lives and property by providing timely, accurate, event specific information and interoperable communications.

The 911 Commission report recommended the following: “Congress should support pending legislation which provides for the expedited and increased assignment of radio spectrum for public safety purposes. Furthermore, high-risk urban areas such as New York City and Washington, D.C., should establish signal corps units to ensure communications connectivity between and among civilian authorities, local first responders, and the National Guard. Federal funding of such units should be given high priority by Congress.”

Following this, in 2012 the “Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act” created the First Responder Network Authority under the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. The U.S. Government allotted 20 MHz of spectrum and 7 billion dollars to build this network.

FirstNet was responsible for soliciting Request for Proposals from vendors who would be responsible for building the Radio Access Network (RAN). After evaluating the proposals FirstNet selected AT&T as the only vendor who had met their criteria.

FirstNet delivered the Kansas Draft Plan on June 19, 2017 to the State Information Executive Committee (SIEC) and we had 90 days to evaluate the plan and recommend to Governor Brownback to opt-in, opt-out or make no decision. A draft plan review team was formed to review the plan and report its recommendations to the State Chief Information Officer who advised the Governor of the review team’s deliberations and recommendations to aid him in his decision.

The draft plan review team was formed from members of the SIEC and 911 Coordinating Council.  The representation included Fire Service, Law Enforcement, EMS, Emergency Management, Tribal lands, subject matter experts and information technology professionals. Members of this team were required to sign non-disclosure agreements (NDA) in order to review the FirstNet/AT&T proposal. The following are some of the criteria considered as the FirstNet draft plan was evaluated:

-Coverage in rural areas

-Deployable assets to fill in coverage

-Price to subscriber

-Potential costs/risk to the State

-Can FirstNet/ AT&T deliver the plan as presented?

-Are there any viable options to FirstNet Proposal?

-Compatibility with the States Next Generation 911(NG911)

A Request for Information (RFI)/Market Analysis was issued to help determine if there were any available options to the FirstNet plan, one response was received which was reviewed along with the FirstNet proposal. A Legislative Post Audit report was also issued, entitled “Reviewing the State’s Options Related to the FirstNet Public Safety Network” http://www.kslpa.org/assets/files/reports/r-17-004.pdf . Its findings were also used to evaluate the options under consideration.

 

There was a lot of internal discussion on cost to subscribers and coverage. After much study, deliberation and negotiation with FirstNet/AT&T the draft review team recommended the FirstNet Proposal to the State. This proposal appeared to hold the least amount of risk as well as the highest probability of success and was the most compatible with the NG 911 integration. It was the recommendation of the review team to the State Chief Information Officer to advise the Governor that the State of Kansas opt-in to FirstNet Public Safety Broadband.

In just the last few years the States 800Mhz interoperable radio system has vastly enhanced the ability of Kansas responders to communicate with each other state wide and has proven to be a vital tool in everyday communications. The system really shines when multiple jurisdictions respond to a major disaster. When we add in Public Safety Broadband with the capability of secure and dependable data and applications designed for the first responder, we can expect many positive and exciting changes to come.

Bob McLemore

Fire Chief, Colby Fire Department

Past President of the KSAFC

Chairman of State Interoperable Executive Committee



Kansas GEMT Project - Update

As most of you know, the Kansas State Association of Fire Chiefs endeavored two years ago to create enabling legislation that would allow the creation of a State Plan Amendment (SPA) for Medicaid reimbursement increases through our Ground Emergency Medical Transport (GEMT) initiative.  It was determined that the State of Kansas and its EMS agencies are losing millions of dollars annually because of the uncompensated costs associated with transporting Medicaid patients.  We stated clearly that our GEMT initiative was not Medicaid expansion but an attempt to  enable eligible, qualifying agencies to drawn down additional funding available through the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMMS) for Medicaid patients. 

Through the support of many of you, and the dedicated time of Chief John Paul Jones of Kansas City, Ks. FD, we have accomplished a milestone in that goal.  On June 15th, Governor Sam Brownback signed HB 2079 which paves the way through this enabling legislation, to create a State Plan Amendment for our GEMT initiative. 

I personally want to thank members of the Kansas State Association of Fire Chiefs including Chief John Paul Jones and his staff, the Kansas State Firefighters Association, the Kansas State Council of Firefighters, John Pinegar (Pinegar Smith and Associates) along with attorney John Freiden for diligently staying the course and providing the necessary support and expertise. 

The achievement of this enabling legislation is very promising but we still have a ways to go.  The next steps will include hiring a consultant to create the State Plan Amendment and moving forward in presenting an acceptable SPA Plan that will pass muster with CMMS.  This is a tricky business as anything written has to be approved by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.  We will be calling on the resources of AP Triton in order to accomplish this very technical and time consuming goal.  AP Triton has a Fire Service background and has worked with numerous states including California, Oregon, Missouri and others in assisting them to create an acceptable State Plan Amendment to present to CMMS. 

This of course will require funding to make this happen. Therefore, in the next couple of weeks, we will come up with a funding plan to determine how to establish a funding mechanism to achieve this goal.  But, once accomplished, it must be understood that we are talking about the potential for millions of additional dollars coming in to the State of Kansas for its provider systems. 

Again, thank you to all those who worked very hard to accomplish this enabling legislation within our GEMT goals and objectives.

Brad Smith, President




Missouri Valley Division IAFC Call For Action

The Missouri Valley Division of the IAFC is taking a stand for firefighter health and safety and cancer prevention.  Please see the attached letter.  The KSAFC supports this effort and encourages you to join in this effort.










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