MEMA’s Communications Unit is responsible for operating the public safety communication systems used by the Commonwealth during emergencies and disaster recovery, as well as planned events and the day-to-day operations of several state agencies. These systems are used to provide situational awareness to our community, state and federal partners.
For more information regarding the communications divisions, contact MEMA Headquarters Dispatch at 508-820-2000.
The Communications Unit provides numerous statewide dispatch services. These include but are not limited to:
- Serving as the Primary Warning Point for the Commonwealth
- Monitoring three nuclear power plants
- Vermont Yankee
- Coordinating statewide fire mobilization
- Partnering with state law enforcement on Amber Alert notifications
In addition to MEMA, the Communications Unit serves as the primary dispatch and notification center for the following entities:
- Department of Agriculture Resources (DAR)
- Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR)
- Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP)
- Department of Fire Services (DFS)
- Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA)
- Department of Labor Standards (DLS)
- Department of Public Health (DPH)
- Department of Public Safety (DPS)
- Northeast States Emergency Consortium (NESEC)
VHF High Band Radio System
MEMA created the VHF High Band Radio System to improve emergency communications with every town and city in Massachusetts. The VHF high band radio system allows cities and towns throughout Massachusetts to contact MEMA regional offices in the event of an emergency. These VHF channels should be programmed into every city’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) radios, as well as any other radios used during disaster recovery and emergency response.
UHF Band Radio System
The Communications Center and MEMA specialty vehicles use UHF radios to monitor federal and non-federal interoperability channels and mutual aid systems during emergency response
For more information on these systems, consult the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Interoperability Field Operations Guide (MIFOG). The MIFOG is a collection of technical reference material to aid personnel in establishing solutions to support communications during emergency incidents and planned events.
MEMA has an extensive inventory of communication resources. These resources can be quickly deployed into the field to support emergency communications and planned events across multiple jurisdictions.
All requests should provide the following information:
- Quantity of radios needed
- Need for wide area usage and repeaters
- Type of emergency or event
- Duration of incident
- Technical assistance needed
- Communications Unit Leader (COML)
- Communications Technician (COMT)
- Tactical Radio Operator (RADO)
MEMA has an inventory of resources to support emergency communications and planned events across Massachusetts. These include:
- Cache Radio Program — MEMA has an extensive inventory of 800MHz portable radios.
- 800 MHz Repeaters — MEMA has two transportable 800 MHz repeaters for on-scene emergency response and localized coverage.
- Mobile Communications Support Trailer (MCST) — The MCST provides communications for areas with limited coverage or incidents requiring additional communications and connectivity needs.
- Interoperability Gateways — MEMA owns two Raytheon/JPS ACU-1000 units, which can be set up in a mobile or fixed environment for cross-patching radio bands and other emergency communication devices.