Friday, August 22, 2008

Texas agencies discuss emergency communications: "AUSTIN - 200 public safety representatives gathered with the Texas Radio Coalition at the Hilton Austin Airport to discuss recommendations to Gov. Rick Perry on the state's public safety wireless communication system. They plan to adopt and revise standard operating procedures for integrated communications throughout 24 regions of Texas. The improved communications system uses unified wireless radios that allow federal, state, local and tribal agencies to more effectively communicate during natural disasters such as hurricanes and other critical incidents, as well as day-to-day mutual aid events."
For a price, Hall County [GA] to let others use high-tech communications system: "Hall County has been so satisfied with its improved emergency communications that it soon will offer surrounding areas the opportunity join the 800 MHz radio system. One small catch: Other governments will have to provide their own equipment and help pay maintenance costs, said Marty Nix, director of Hall County’s 911 center.

'It’s a win-win for everyone,' Nix said. 'The more people you have involved in a system like this, the less it costs for everyone involved.'"

Monday, August 11, 2008

Digital radios in fireground limbo: "Amid concerns surrounding digital-radio performance, several public-safety agencies are considering alternatives, including analog radios.

Focus on digital-radio performance in fireground scenarios heightened last month after the release of an International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) report on the issue. Tests conducted by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) indicated that analog systems provided greater audio intelligibility than digital systems in four of nine environments, including when self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) masks and personal alert safety systems (PASS) were in use.

These results and anecdotal experiences have caused firefighters in Phoenix, Orlando and Marion County, Ind., to question the wisdom of moving from analog radio to multimillion-dollar digital systems."

Monday, August 04, 2008

First responders to FCC: give up national D Block pipe dream: "They packed Brooklyn, New York's elegant Borough Hall yesterday—police and fire department officials, telco lawyers, and a former state Attorney General—lining up to tell all five members of the Federal Communications Commission how it should set up a national broadband public safety communications system. But before they spoke, FCC Commissioner Michael Copps laid out the truth: years into the process, the agency still isn't even sure what to do."