Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now


FCC to Hold EAS Workshop Aug. 27

Intention is to promote wider use of system

The Federal Communications Commission will host a workshop promoting the wider use and increased accessibility of the Emergency Alert System on Thursday, August 27, 2015, from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Staff members of the FCC Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau and the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau will participate.

Commissioner Mignon L. Clyburn and David G. Simpson, Rear Admiral (Ret.) USN, chief of the PSHSB will open the workshop.

The first session, “Leveraging the Value Proposition of the EAS and Wireless Emergency Alerts for State and Local Emergency Managers in Incident Response and Training,” will feature a case study on how emergency alerting, in combination with the 911 system, can enable two-way information to flow between people in a subway train stuck in a tunnel and emergency services personnel, with Elizabeth Dexter and Jennifer Meyers, watch officers for the Arlington Emergency Communications Center presenting.

The second case study of the session will examine how a Public Safety Answering Point’s use of alerts can help defuse a chaotic situation resulting from a false alarm about an “active shooter” at an elementary school. Jay English, director of the Comm Center & 911 Services at the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials International Inc., will present.

Case study No. 3 in the session will cover how a test of the EAS using a live tsunami event code could be leveraged into a full public safety exercise through outreach and coordination of government alerting and 911 functions. Bryan Fisher, chief of Operations for Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, and Dennis Bookey, vice president of Kodiak Island Broadcasting and State of Alaska Emergency Communications Committee co-chair will present live, remote from Anchorage, Alasks.

Session No. 2, “Promoting Wider Use of EAS,” will examine measures to increase the flexibility of the EAS to expand its use by emergency managers at the state and local levels, including expanded use of the WEA system by PSAPs for localized alerts and exercises. Greg Cooke, associate division chief of the PSHSB Policy & Licensing Division will moderate a panel discussion that includes Jay English, director of APCO’s Comm Center & 911 Services; Wade Witmer, deputy director of Integrated Public Alert and Warning System Division aat Department of Homeland Security/Federal Emergency Management Agency; Steve Souder, director of the Fairfax County, Va., Department of Public Safety Communications and chair of the PSAP Task Force; and Suzanne Goucher, president & CEO of the Maine Association of Broadcasters, chair of the Maine State Emergency Communications Committee and chair of the Joint National Association of Broadcasters-National Alliance of State Broadcasters Associations EAS Committee.

Session No. 3 focuses on Promoting EAS Accessibility.” This panel will discuss potential ways to improve alert accessibility, including synchronicity of EAS audio with the EAS visual crawl and the readiness of Text-to-Speech technology for usage in national and local alerting.

Suzy Rosen Singleton, attorney advisor for the CGB Disability Rights Office, will moderate for panelists Christian Vogler, Ph.D., associate professor at the Department of Art, Communication and Theatre, and director of Technology Access Program for Gallaudet University; Lillian McDonald, managing director of the Twin Cities Public Television/ECHO Minnesota Partnership Multilingual alerting project; Charles W. McCobb, program manager for the DHS III, IPAWS Program Office; and Zainab Alkebsi, Esq., policy counsel for the National Association of the Deaf.

Lisa M. Fowlkes, FCC PSHSB deputy chief, will close the workshop.

The workshop will be open to the public but will be limited to the seating available. Individuals who wish to preregister may contact John A. Evanoff or call 202-418-0848. Those who preregister will be asked to provide their name, title, organization affiliation, and contact information. All attendees are advised to arrive approximately 30 minutes prior to the start of the workshop to allow time to go through our security process.

The commission will provide audio and/or video coverage of the workshop over the Internet from the FCC’s Web page at

The audience will have an opportunity to ask questions. Those following the live stream will also have the opportunity to ask questions during the event via email at [email protected]. Depending on the volume of questions and time constraints, session moderators will work to respond to as many questions as possible during the workshop.

Updates to the agenda, as well as panelist materials, will be available on the workshop’s Website. Interested parties can also follow the workshop on Twitter at Questions can be submitted via email to [email protected], or tweeted with the hashtag #FCCLive. The workshop will be held in the Commission Meeting Room at FCC Headquarters, 445 12th St., SW, Room TW-C305, Washington, D.C. 20554.

TV Technology