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Delco Breaks Ground on Major Public Safety Radio System Project

From a press release

Delaware County Council joined the Director of the County’s Department of Emergency Services Tim Boyce, President and Chief Executive Officer of JVC Kenwood Dwayne Anderson, and dozens of members of law enforcement, fire departments, and EMS on October 5 for a groundbreaking ceremony to announce a major public safety radio system upgrade.

Today marks the next phase of Delaware County’s implementation of a new emergency communications system. The nearly $40 million investment is the first major radio upgrade in the county since the 1970s and an integral piece of council’s commitment to ensuring that first responders across the county have the tools and the resources, they need to communicate with each other in real-time in order to effectively respond to crises and deploy critically needed emergency services to protect the community.

The design phase of the project has been completed and the next phase has begun. Microwave paths have been created, transmission radius areas were studied, an infrastructure construction plan was launched, and the construction upgrade of 21 radio towers will now begin.

The county was able to build upon existing towers in the county, allowing for a more sustainable project.

The radio system upgrade utilizes the latest technology available. The project includes higher frequency radios, expanded coverage area, and will increase reliability and coordination among first responders.

“This major investment in our first responders and public safety is vital and it is long overdue,” said Delaware County Council Vice Chair Elaine Paul Schaefer. “We need to ensure that first responders across the county have the tools and resources they need to effectively and safely respond to emergency situations. Every second counts and there isn’t room for error or lapses in time.”

The project includes:

• Construction on 21 existing towers

• Upgrading to a 700 MHz radio spectrum to obtain new frequencies and reduce the

tropospheric interference “ducting” currently on the 500 MHz radios

• Issuing every police officer in Delaware County with a portable radio that is interoperable across the county

• Issuing fire departments and EMS agencies with a portable radio to serve their front-line first responders

“Delaware County Council is keeping the promise they made to our first responders,” said Boyce. “We are excited to announce that the build out of a state-of-the-art, comprehensive emergency communications radio network has begun.”

Council commends the Department of Emergency Services, under Boyce’s leadership and project consultants ACD Telecom and JVC Kenwood for their diligence in improving service and reliability for first responders across the county.