Washington County Deploys Public-Safety Network from Motorola (5/20/14)
Tuesday, May 20, 2014 | Comments

Thurston County, Washington, completed implementation of its public-safety 9-1-1 system that supports radio communications for the county’s 1,600 police, fire and EMS users. The system features 13 radio consoles for 9-1-1 dispatchers, radio and equipment for the 9-1-1 tower, and 22 remote radio sites, which also ensured that the county met the FCC’s narrowbanding requirements.

Thurston 9-1-1 Communications (TCOMM911) is the sole dispatcher center for the county and provides alerting and radio dispatch services for 22 public-safety agencies including fire, EMS and law enforcement. Thurston County has 758 square miles of diverse topography and a population of about 260,000 people and is centered on Washington state’s capital city of Olympia.

With an aging radio system that was no longer supported and experiencing degraded performance, a new radio system was required. The new $2.7 million nine-site, four-channel analog simulcast system replaces nearly 60 radio repeaters, bases and coverage receivers. In the process, TCOMM911 added four new sites and enhanced two others. The VHF system operates in a conventional analog mode and delivers improved coverage and audio quality with 93 percent portable coverage countywide.

Motorola microwave systems were deployed for new sites to provide required backhaul solutions. Motorola Solutions provided the design engineering to guarantee coverage to a specified level. This meant that four new site locations were needed and several sites needed significant upgrades to reach Motorola design standards. Subsequent proof of coverage testing verified that proper engineering and system design was the key to reaching public-safety radio requirements.

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