Wisconsin County Deploys IP Simulcast System from Simoco
Wednesday, June 10, 2015 | Comments

Simoco Group, along with partner Bay Electronics, supplied an IP-based simulcast system for emergency services throughout Door County in Wisconsin. Door County upgraded its multicast system after one of its fire departments secured a grant to address the reduced quality of coverage and paging as a result of the FCC’s VHF and UHF narrowbanding mandate.

With a wide area of more than 6,000 square kilometers to cover, Door County also identified simulcast as the best system to meet increasing demands placed on emergency responders. Simulcast enables the 18 municipalities in the county to broadcast the same signal across multiple overlapping sites on the same frequency at the same time and without interference. This means that its 72 law enforcement officers, 26 paramedics, 486 firefighters and emergency medical responders, and 150 response vehicles can efficiently communicate in any location — even in areas that previously had insufficient coverage.

Based on the original RF design and system specifications provided by Door County’s consultant, G.J. Therkelsen and Associates, Bay Electronics designed, supplied, installed and networked the system, interfacing the 9-1-1 dispatch center to 11 sites: Washington Island, Ellison Bay, Fish Creek, Chambers Island, Baileys Harbor, Sunnyslope, Jacksonport, Justice Center, Brussels, Mill Road and Southwest. The network comprises Simoco’s Solar 2 simulcast technology, which interoperates with a number of receivers, repeaters and microwave radios designed by Simoco and other manufacturers.

“The local and county responders are now able to use a radio system that is not only user friendly but also meets the current needs of the emergency response community,” said Chris Hecht, fire chief at Sister Bay and Liberty Grove Fire Department, which secured the grant on behalf of Door County. “Since its implementation, we have seen a significant improvement in emergency alerting and radio coverage as well as redundancy in equipment and coverage to reduce the potential of critical infrastructure failures.”

One of the driving factors in Door County choosing Simoco’s simulcast solution was the need to use an IP solution in lieu of an analog-based solution.

“I knew the simulcast system would be cutting-edge technology before we proposed the system to Door County,” said Rick Nielson, president of Bay Electronics. “Once we finished the interfaces and adjusted the audio timing and levels, we were pleasantly surprised with the outcome. The system not only performs extremely well from a simulcast point of view, but the audio quality far exceeds what the county had before. The audio quality is superb.”

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