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STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESSFULLY IMPLEMENTING AN 800MHz RADIO SYSTEM IN THE PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY ... - page 20 / 54

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Preparedness (OEP), radio and the public telephone system. When all RACES operators

are in place at the EOCs, communications will be handled by RACES” (Gibson, 2002,

p.26).

Just after hurricane Hugo hit Charleston, South Carolina in September 1989, one

of the major concerns was communications. In the February 1990 APCO Bulletin article,

“Reestablishment of Two-Way Communications Vital To Recovery After Hurricane

Hugo,” author Terry Bonneau states that Southern Bell central telephone offices were

jammed with everyone in Charleston County making calls. The Motorola 800 MHz

trunked system was the answer to immediate communications” (Bonneau, 1990, p. 57).

Radio communications also played a major role in the January 17, 1994

earthquake in Los Angeles, California. In the June 1994 APCO Bulletin article “Effective

Radio Communications Helped Los Angeles Cope with Devastation”, author Ken Gadd

describes a statement from Richard Granado, Chief of the Radio Systems Division of Los

Angeles County’s Internal Services Department. Mr. Granado stated, “during the first 24

hours following the earthquake, we logged more the 118,000 calls on one 800 MHz

countywide integrated radio system. That’s three times more than normal traffic load, and

there’s no way our former analog radio system could have handled such a volume of

calls”(Gadd, 1994, p.12).

According to Mary Jane Dittmar, she states, “If this were a perfect world, perfect

fireground communications would be a given: You would be able to rely on your radios

100 percent of the time. Alas, the world of the fireground is far from perfect, and no

communications system can be guaranteed to be flawless. Moreover, a communications

emergency can occur for a variety of reasons. A failure of fireground communications –

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