DuPage County Launches Emergency Dispatch Interoperable System (10/11/12)
Thursday, October 11, 2012 | Comments

The DuPage County (Ill.) Emergency Telephone System Board (ETSB) officially launched the DuPage Emergency Dispatch Interoperable Radio System.

The new system will allow all police, fire and emergency personnel to communicate with each other on a daily basis as well as during any type of a public-safety emergency event using the STARCOM21 statewide radio network. In addition to improving communications throughout the county, the system enables interoperability with 30,000 STARCOM21 subscribers from state, local and federal agencies across Illinois, said DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin.

The $30 million project was funded through a $2.35 million federal grant in addition to money collected through the 9-1-1 wireless surcharges. In December 2010, the DuPage ETS board members unanimously approved the $28 million dollar contract to Motorola.

“This $30 million public-safety project represents the largest financial investment DuPage ETSB has made in advancing essential 9-1-1 emergency services,” said ETSB Chairman JR McBride.

The system consists of 3,134 portable and mobile radios and 53 MCC7500 radio consoles in nine 9-1-1 public-safety answering points (PSAPs) throughout the system. The project represents 60 police and fire public-safety agencies operating on one interoperable radio system.

The contract with Motorola highlights the change in strategic direction from owning the radio infrastructure to using the STARCOM21 system. The decision to subscribe to STARCOM21 was twofold: affordability and interoperability. Leveraging the economies of scale made possible by statewide network saved the county $18 million ($30 million vs. $48 million) as compared to the county’s estimates for constructing its own private system, a press release said.

STARCOM21 is Illinois’ statewide digital public-safety radio system that provides coverage for over 98 percent of the state. The network currently provides communications for state and local public-safety agencies. The STARCOM21 network is a public-private partnership between Motorola Solutions and the state of Illinois.

“When it comes to public safety, communication is everything. Prior to having the implementation of this radio system, we had 32 disparate radio networks and officers couldn’t always communicate across jurisdictional lines,” said Hinsdale Police Chief Bradley Bloom, whose department is currently using the new radio system. “Today, not only can public safety communicate anywhere in the county, but we have also dramatically improved our ability to communicate during a multijurisdictional public-safety response.”

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