"The national security system must be massively reorganized if federal agencies are to cooperate and collaborate more effectively to combat the multitude of threats facing the U.S. in the 21st century, according to recommendations released today by the Project on National Security Reform (PNSR). The PNSR recommendations outlined in Forging A New Shield would replace a national security system created 60 years ago, that despite many marginal attempts to reform, often discourages agencies from working together on joint assignments and policy implementation to respond to crises and effectively manage national security affairs. The recommendations comprise a broad set of mandates to improve the national security system by streamlining integrated strategy and policy among agencies and programs, improving coordination with a newly established network for sharing information, providing better job training for employees and consolidating Congressional oversight, the report says. The life safety of both firefighters and citizens depends on reliable, functional communication tools that work in the harshest and most hostile of environments. Firefighters operate in extreme environments that are markedly different from those of any other radio users. Firefighters operate lying on the floor; in zero visibility, high heat, high moisture, and wearing self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) facepieces that distort the voice. They are challenged further by bulky safety equipment, particularly gloves, that eliminate the manual dexterity required to operate portable radio controls. Firefighters operate inside structures of varying sizes and construction types."
United States Fire Administration: http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/