Wireless communications have achieved a great attention during the last decades due to the easy implementation, possibility of delivering multimedia services to rural communities, suitability for public safety and emergency communications. In particular, a wireless network designed for an emergency scenario seems to be the best solution to manage all the phases of an emergency situation, from the prevention to the post-emergency management. This paper discusses the main features of a such wireless network aiming to interconnect several heterogeneous systems and providing multimedia access to groups of people involved in emergency operations as foreseen by the In.Sy.Eme. (Integrated System for Emergency) project. In particular, the focus here will be on a communication infrastructure able to efficiently support a pervasive high performance distributed elaboration structure based on the Next Generation Grid principle. Main scope of the proposed system is that of allowing functional integration of new technologies with actual or off-the-shelf technologies to provide fast responses to any emergency situations and efficient use of all available resources. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.