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