Assessments on the County Radio System present the system works beneath stress, in response to Nave
911 district director Paul Nave said officials recently “stressed” the district’s new radio system for first responders and law enforcement, and the system worked with almost no problems.
That system will be retested when the equipment is installed across the county later this year, Nave said. The aim is to have the new system up and running in the district by autumn.
In August, county officials hired Motorola to build a digital radio system to replace the outdated VHF radio system the county had used for decades. The old system suffered from atmospheric disturbance and dead areas where MPs or firefighters could not communicate with the dispatch on their portable radios. An examination of the system found that much of the equipment was out of date.
According to Nave, the district officials went to Motorola, where the company set up the equipment to be installed for a test across the district.
“We were able to physically see everything about to be shipped and installed in the county,” said Nave.
The test simulated that parts of the system were deactivated to determine whether the system was still functional.
“We tax it and test it in a controlled environment. So once we get into the real world, we can tax it and test it (again) and it should work as planned,” said Nave.
The system “was 98 to 99 percent successful,” he said. “There have been some anomalies and that’s what you expect with a product like this.”
The county-hired project manager Trott Communications is currently negotiating with cell tower owners about space on the towers for the radio equipment, Nave said. It is planned that the contractor will install the equipment in the summer so that the system can go online in November.
The county will purchase portable digital radios for the county fire department, sheriff’s department, and other county departments that will use the radio system.
“It’s exciting to see this project come true,” said Nave. The system “will be a world of diversity for these people and their safety.”