Federal Engineering to Assess Radio System in Idaho County
Monday, July 13, 2020 | Comments

The Elmore County (Idaho) Board of Commissioners and Emergency Services awarded Federal Engineering a contract to assess the county’s public-safety mobile radio system and recommend improvements to better meet first responder needs.

The county’s first responders, consisting of two law enforcement agencies, three volunteer fire departments and one countywide emergency management service, operate on multiple frequency bands, with six towers supporting countywide radio communications. Fire uses VHF radios and belt-clip pagers, while other county agencies use UHF radios; the county also has access to 700 MHz spectrum.

The board’s objectives are to assess existing countywide radio communications and then facilitate consensus among emergency organizations for next steps to improve communications and interoperability across Elmore County’s public-safety organizations.

Federal Engineering will evaluate users’ needs and assess the existing infrastructure, tower sites and equipment. The consultant will determine high-level requirements for the radio system, connectivity, fire paging and portables and mobiles. Federal Engineering will conduct a coverage workshop with the county to identify areas that require improved coverage and desirable locations for new radio system transmitters and receivers. Using an in-house tool, the firm will estimate the cost of the public-safety radio system design under consideration, based on coverage design, number of new or retrofit tower sites, experience with systems comparable to the county’s, and publicly available industry information.

The firm will then recommend replacement, modifications or expansion necessary to achieve acceptable mobile and portable radio coverage and improved interoperability throughout Elmore County.

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