OFFICE OF THE COMMISSIONERS
February 14, 2013
EDITORS: The following is for immediate release. If you have any questions, please contact Rebecca Brain, Communications Coordinator, at 610-344-6279 or Mark Rupsis, Chief Operating Officer, at 610-344-6026.
COMMISSIONERS SIGN CONTRACT FOR NEW
EMERGENCY RADIO SYSTEM
WEST CHESTER, PA _ The Chester County Commissioners today signed a contract with Harris Corporation for the purchase, installation and maintenance of a new emergency radio system. The contract for purchase, installation and two years of maintenance totals $27.4 million of capital expenditure, with $14.7 million in operating expenditure allocated for maintenance of the system for an additional eight years following installation.
Chester County operates an emergency voice radio system that provides emergency voice communication for the County’s law enforcement, fire and emergency medical services (EMS) responders. The current system was installed in the early 1990s and the technology is becoming obsolete and the equipment is in need of replacement.
The new system is an Association of Public Officials (APCO) Project 25 Compliant Voice Radio System that guarantees 97 percent coverage at Delivered Audio Quality (DAQ) of 3.4.
“The purchase of this new radio system, combined with the investment that we have made in the Public Safety Training Campus, positions Chester County as a standard bearer for public safety resources, not just in Pennsylvania, but nationally,” said Chester County Commissioners’ Chair Ryan Costello.
“This is a big, but necessary investment,” added Commissioner Kathi Cozzone. “The signing of this contract follows a comprehensive, thorough review of what we truly need for our county now, and in the future. The collaboration between everyone in the emergency responder community means that we’re confident that we have purchased a radio communication system that will benefit our citizens as well as the first responders who place their lives on the line to keep us safe.”
“When planning an investment like this, it is imperative to have the right criteria detailed within the initial Request for Proposal. Our RFP was very comprehensive and the responses we received came from top industry firms. This meant we had a good selection of systems to review, and could negotiate with these specialist companies to purchase the best communication system at a very competitive price,” said Commissioner Terence Farrell.
The new emergency radio system is a P25 Phase II design which avoids the cost associated with a federally mandated transition from Phase I to Phase II for the 700 Megahertz (MHz) band in 2017. The system design includes remote transmitter/receiver sites configured in two fully-linked cells, modifications to the microwave transport system that connects the remote sites to the 9-1-1 Operations Center in the Chester County Government Services Center in West Goshen Township, replacement 9-1-1 consoles, and field equipment for the emergency responders, including 1,221 mobile (vehicle-mounted) radios, 2,750 hand-held radios, and 132 control stations for emergency responder station applications.
Chester County is the first county in Pennsylvania to initiate a strategic planning process and has a Aaa rating on its bonds from Moody’s Investors Service as well as AAA ratings from Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings. Established by William Penn as one of Pennsylvania’s three original counties, Chester County has been named by Forbes.com as one of America’s best places to raise a family and is ranked one of the healthiest counties in Pennsylvania by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.