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County Executive George Latimer Announces New Emergency Response and Transportation Radio Systems

Upgrading Vital Public Safety Infrastructure, County Executive George Latimer Announces New Emergency Response and Transportation Radio Systems


 

Providing for the safety of County residents, workforce and visitors is the most important job of Government – and in order to provide the County’s dedicated first responder community with the best tools possible to protect lives and property, a state of the art voice communications system is a necessity to get this mission critical task accomplished. Now, Westchester County Executive George Latimer is proud to announce the success of a years-long project to replace and begin enhancement of the County’s Emergency Response and Transportation Radio Systems.

Latimer said: “Ensuring the safety of our residents and providing the best, most effective possible technology for our brave first responders is of utmost importance to me and my Administration. This massive undertaking could not have been stewarded by anyone better than our teams at DoIT, DES, DPS, Law, and Planning.”

The Westchester County Department of Information Technology (DoIT) oversees the design, implementation, and management of large mission critical radio systems used by the Departments of Emergency Services, Public Safety, and Public Works & Transportation. This capital project included specifying, designing, procuring, and implementing replacement of the County’s large analog radio systems with new state-of-the-art digital radio systems.

While additional enhancements are in the works, the new radio system was made live for fire and EMS agencies on Wednesday, February 2 at 10a.m with cooperation and assistance of emergency service departments across the County. By 12p.m. the old analog trunked radio system was turned off and the new state of the art two-way radio system was successfully in use by first responders.

Department of Information Technology Commissioner Marguerite Beirne said: “DoIT is immensely proud of the work we do each day, seen and unseen, to make sure the County’s critical IT infrastructure is safe, secure and can get the job done each day for our residents and first responders.”

Beginning in 2003, the DoIT developed an analog UHF trunked radio system for use by the Departments of Emergency Services (DES) and Public Works & Transportation (DPW/T), and replaced existing analog VHF radio systems used by the Department of Public Safety (DPS).

The UHF trunked system was designed to provide fire and EMS agencies in Westchester with the ability to communicate with one another and the County’s Emergency Communications Center (60 Control) through radios in responding apparatus. DPW&T utilized the system to communicate with buses in the Bee Line Transportation System. The VHF systems were designed to provide communication between County Police cars and County Police Headquarters. These systems went into service in 2007, were completed in 2012, and provided many years of highly reliable service.

The County’s new radio systems replace equipment for which manufacturer support and replacement parts were becoming unavailable. The new systems have a twenty-year plan of supportability by the manufacturer. 

Department of Emergency Services Commissioner Richard Wishnie said: “Our County’s emergency response efforts rely on this technology to save lives. Plain and simple. This project will enhance these efforts for the residents of Westchester.”

Department of Public Safety Commissioner/Sheriff Thomas Gleason said: “Reliable and effective radio communications are at the heart of our ability to keep the public safe and our officers safe. When a 911 call is received, this radio communication network is a lifeline that links our headquarters to the officers who will be dispatched to respond to that emergency. It is also critical that officers be able to rely on their radios to get help from fellow officers if needed.”

DoIT developed an RFP for replacement of the County’s large analog radio systems, and Motorola was the selected proposer. The new two-way radio systems use P25 (the US public safety radio standard) and will provide dramatically improved on-street portable (hand held) radio coverage.

A portion of funding for this large scale project was secured by United States Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer.

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