In light of recent natural catastrophes and terrorist activities, it has become evident that new architectural approaches are needed for next generation public protection and disaster relief networks. These architectures should be adaptable to the conditions at the event site and resilient enough to operate under adverse conditions in an emergency. Furthermore, they should enable rapid gathering of crucial event data and its delivery to the responder units at the site as well as the command and control center that is off-site. In this article, we first examine the state of the art in areas related to communication in PPDR systems, and discuss the open research issues for each topic. Then we propose a novel architecture that meets the aforementioned requirements and relies on a novel device called an ICG. An ICG enables flexible use of the spectrum and facilitates data gathering from all lower-tier devices and relays this data to relevant units through the higher-tier public or commercial backhaul networks. Finally, we provide some results that justify the need for these devices in emergency scenarios.