Iowa County Migrates to Digital Alerting for Volunteer Firefighters
Wednesday, August 09, 2017 | Comments

Dubuque County, Iowa, is migrating its analog voice paging for its volunteer firefighters to a digital alerting solution from Swissphone. In conjunction with an upgrade to Project 25 (P25) for voice communications, Dubuque County wants to improve performance within its fire and EMS response. This requires faster and more reliable paging of its volunteer fire services to reduce response times.

Dubuque’s system will be a 12-site, multiprimary, multiring design providing countywide 8 dB indoor coverage, with 15 dB indoor coverage in towns. In addition to alerting fire and EMS personnel, it will also be used to activate all the outdoor warning sirens.

“The Swissphone DiCal architecture is completely unique in its ability to put base stations anywhere you need them for coverage, without requiring expensive backhaul connectivity,” said Tom Berger, Epworth fire chief and Dubuque County EMA coordinator and E9-1-1 chair. “That gives us enormous flexibility to get coverage where we need it at minimal additional expense. No one else can offer that.”

The solution was commissioned and installed by RACOM, a P25 solutions provider and Swissphone partner. RACOM has previously commissioned and installed P25 solutions with DiCal digital paging in other counties in Iowa.

"DiCal is a great supplement to our P25 value proposition for digital voice communication," said Terry Brennan, vice president of RACOM. “It allows our customers to resolve their paging issues once and for all by migrating to digital alerting — for about 5 percent of the total P25 project cost. DiCal is a great complement to our portfolio.”

Dubuque is in the east of Iowa with 96,000 inhabitants and covers 617 square miles. Its fire service organization contains 13 fire departments, operating out of 21 fire stations with a total of 550 first responders. On average, they handle about 7,600 calls for service annually.

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On 8/11/17, Marco Stadler said:
Every county who wants to have a reliable alerting solution now and in the future has to consider this paging solution from Swissphone. It is affordable, reliable, fast and offers the most flexible architecture to solve upcoming coverage challenges.

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