Fayette, Somerset to join first responder radio network
Two more counties plan to join Armstrong and two other counties' Inter-County Radio System to provide unified communication lines for emergency responders.
This year, Fayette and Somerset counties plan to start using the Inter-County Radio System, a regional radio network that allows first responders to communicate directly with each other across countylines, joining Armstrong, Westmoreland and Indiana counties. Their participation will lower the annual cost of maintenance and software upgrades, said Armstrong County 911 coordinator Ron Baustert.
The Inter-County Radio System's warranty through Motorola, which covers system maintenance and software upgrades, expires next year. The counties plan to share the cost of the annual upgrades, and Armstrong expects to pay $340,000 annually. If more counties join the program, Baustert said, the price will drop for each county.
On Thursday, Armstrong County officials adopted a charter and governance documents, which the three participating counties developed, setting rules and cost-sharing measures for the radio system.
“We're excited to see the system grow, since it started with just Armstrong and Westmoreland counties,” Baustert said. “There are already othercounties looking into the program, so this could very well become a radio network serving all of Southwestern Pennsylvania.”
The system relies on 800 MHz digital radios and 14 high-powered communication towers throughout each county.
Armstrong County started using the Inter-County Radio System last June. The system provides all emergency responders in the counties with the same radio system.
“There are common channels for everyone to use for major incidents, and it makes it easier to communicate with other responders, no matter their discipline,” Baustert said. “With our old system, we maybe had 50 percent coverage, but now, we're experiencing 99.7 percent coverage across the county.”
Baustert said officials began building the radio system in 2010, and started using it last June.
He said the new system allows for better communication between all emergency officials, especially along the county lines.
“We interface every single day with other departments across the county lines,” Baustert said.
“Now, they're all able to talk to each other, when they couldn't before.”
Brad Pedersen is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-543-1303, ext. 1337, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Grievance holding up police hiring in Ford City
- Zombies go on the run at West Shamokin High
- Program bridges several disciplines for Kittanning students
- Lenape Tech opening center for adult training Thursday in Manor
- Volunteers answer call to duty at veteran’s center in Cowansville
- Progressive Workshop open houses Thursday in Kittanning, Rayburn