Communications International: Interoperable Communication for Coordinated Emergency...
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Communications International: Interoperable Communication for Coordinated Emergency Response

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Geno Viviano, Chief Strategy Officer, Communications InternationalGeno Viviano, Chief Strategy Officer
Imagine an active shooter situation at a large school campus. The location is teeming with federal agencies, the ATF, the FBI, firefighters, as well as the state and local government and police forces. They need to coordinate. Regrettably, they are unable to communicate with each other using their communication devices because each agency operates on a different radio network. This lack of interoperability hinders a coordinated response plan, which could lead to undesirable outcomes. This also can be the case with other emergencies including terrorist attacks, hurricanes, forest fires, and more, costing lives and infrastructure. Communications International (Ci) is a wireless systems integrator that facilitates the much-needed interoperable communication among different agencies to communicate and coordinate, following the P25 standards for public safety. The company specializes in the design and implementation of mission-critical communications systems for the federal, state and local public safety, utility and transit industries. Established in 1975 and headquartered in Vero Beach, Florida, Ci currently has nine locations throughout the Southeast.

"Ci has a unique opportunity, through managed services and leasing programs, to enable customers to update their technology as fast as technology changes in the industry"

Ci provides products and solutions that support interoperable communication, fulfilling the requirements of first responders. Among its offerings are two-way radios that are built to military standards and capable of operating on VHF, UHF, 700/800 or 900 MHz frequencies. The portable radios can merge robust LMR communications with voice and data over wifi networks to increase coverage, allowing anyone to be able to talk from anywhere, raising the demand and drive for such coverage. Additionally, Ci has a mobile application that allows executive-level management or officers present off the scene of an emergency to stay informed of the happenings on scene, in real time. “For instance, through this application, the Director of the FBI, if in DC, can still communicate and interoperate with the agents in Florida,” describes Geno Viviano, the Chief Strategy Officer for Communications International.


All of Ci’s employees, when they come to work every day, they’re not just coming to a job, they’re coming here to contribute to their company


Beyond interoperability, Ci also ensures the security of communication. The content transmitted within a group stays unbreached, only accessible to the members communicating. As an example, in an active shooter situation in a school, Ci’s products encrypt the communication between the different agencies involved and prevent third-parties such as the media from listening to the messages being transmitted. This protects sensitive information from being broadcast without verification and permission.

For the last 44 years, Ci has been a single point of contact bringing together the latest technologies, established methodologies, and skilled employees to deliver quality communications systems and services to our communities’ emergency responders. Ensuring the highest level of service, integrity, and customer satisfaction, the company’s engineers, PMP-certified project managers, factory trained technicians, and subject matter experts, are all driven by their expertise and passion for public safety. Ci implements and supports custom communications solutions with a unique focus on the federal market, addressing the needs of the DoD, DoJ, DoT, and more.

Differentiating Ci from its competitors in the market is their practice of customizing their solutions around the particular needs of the customer. Secondly, a large number of Ci’s team members come from the industries in which they serve—a public agency, emergency services, the military, and more. They possess the knowledge, experience, and an acute awareness of the space that qualifies them to serve these mission-critical clients. Thirdly, Ci is an employee-owned company. When referring to Ci’s Employee Owners, Viviano remarks, “All of Ci’s employees, when they come to work every day, they’re not just coming to a job, they’re coming here to contribute to their company.” Furthermore, Ci has a unique opportunity, through managed services and leasing programs, to enable customers to update their technology as fast as technology changes in the industry.

Ci is currently pursuing its ISO 9001 certification. Another focus, as the company maps out its future, is the direction that communication is taking; whether continuing down the private network path or going towards a national footprint.