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STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESSFULLY IMPLEMENTING AN 800MHz RADIO SYSTEM IN THE PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY ... - page 29 / 54

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adequate user training are key elements to a reliable system, he stressed” (IAFF, 2001,

pp. 1-2).

In Baltimore, Maryland, the mayor made the commitment to involve the agencies

that would use the system in its design. “A team driven process from the first

brainstorming meetings to actual system implementation has been long, and it still

continues. Teamwork and creativity that comes from groups dedicated to a common goal,

has been the factor that has distinguished this project” (Torres, 1999, p. 2). Chief Mike

Merwick states, “The users committee has representation from all agencies: police,

sheriff and fire. The system works well for us” (Lee, 1999, p. 2).

The departments that had bad results when implementing their 800 MHz radio

system cited lack of participation and buy-in from the users, training and under funded

systems as the primary reason for ineffective radio systems.

2.

What features should be incorporated into the technological upgrade of the

PWCDFR radio system?

The interviews and literature review revealed that a trunking system with digital

signaling would best meet the needs of the department. Mobile data, automated vehicle

locators, and status change heads would be enhancements to the current computer aided

dispatch (CAD) system to improve response times and reduce the traffic congestion on

the air.

A system to identify who or what unit is transmitting, i.e., unit identifiers and

emergency activation button, would certainly add safety for field personnel, particularly

if they become trapped in a hazardous situation.

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