The Prince William County, Virginia, Board of County Supervisors signed a $21
million contract in December 1999 to replace the existing obsolete and unreliable public
safety radio system. A new state-of-the-art 800 MHz radio system is currently being
built and is planned to be fully operational by April 2003.
The problem is that an implementation plan has not been developed to transition
the fire department into the new radio system. The purpose of this research is to develop
a successful implementation plan for a new $21 million state-of-the-art 800 MHz
trunked, digital radio system.
The research methodology used included a review of relevant literature obtained
from the learning resource center at the National Fire Academy, Prince William County
Public Library and an Internet search. Personal interviews were conducted to solicit
input from other departments that had already implemented similar radio systems. The
Action Research Method was utilized to answer the following questions:
How have other departments implemented new 800 MHz radio systems?
What features should be incorporated into the technological upgrade of the Prince William County Department of Fire and Rescue radio system?
What are the major issues associated with transitioning to an 800 MHz radio system?
How will the changes to an 800 MHz radio system impact fire & rescue operations?
The research revealed the historical background regarding 800 MHz radio
systems and how they have been implemented. It also identified many of the latest