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STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESSFULLY IMPLEMENTING AN 800MHz RADIO SYSTEM IN THE PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY ... - page 30 / 54

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Vehicle repeaters and bidirectional antennas (BDA’s) can be obtained if improved

coverage is required in specific buildings and remote areas of the county.

Occasionally, portable radios are misplaced or stolen. In the wrong hands,

portable radio transmissions can interrupt and jam the radio frequency. To control the

illegal use of portable radios, a device to disable the radio by the dispatch center would

provide the proper protection.

3.

What are the major issues associated with transitioning to an 800 MHz radio

system?

One of the biggest issues associated with a change to an 800 MHz radio system is

the cost. The commitment of $21 million dollars is one that must be justified to the

taxpayers. This is a high profile project that has been under development for more than

five (5) years.

Resistance to change is another major issue that will have to be overcome in order

to successfully implement the new 800 MHz radio system. Any change in operating

procedures must be managed properly. The fire service has typically been somewhat

traditional and slow in implementing change. An 800 MHz radio system will

undoubtedly have different characteristics than the current 154 MHz system. Ten years

ago, the department implemented its first generation of Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD)

system which necessitated computer terminals in all of the fire and rescue stations. Many

of our personnel were not very computer literate and were literally afraid of touching the

computer. Some initially refused to accept the fact that the department was transitioning

into the age of advanced technology. Planning, training and support on the part of the

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