communications needs of public safety. Prince William County would be wise to get
involved with the process to stay abreast of advances in the industry.
The organizational implications are severe if the department is not successful at
implementing the proposed 800 MHz radio system. The financial outlay for conversion is
expected to be approximately $21 million. Such an expenditure will justifiably be
scrutinized by the government leaders, politicians and the taxpayers.
A failure in fireground communications – even if it occurs only once in the
lifetime of a system – could be fatal (Dittmar, 2002, p. 55).
Chief Bruce Varner of the Carrollton, Texas, Fire Department stated that our
communications are mission critical. Our communications need to work 100 percent of
the time, anything less is unacceptable. The lives of not only our firefighters, but also the
public depend on it (IAFF, 2001, p. 2).
The recommendations made based on the findings of this research project include
1. A department wide commitment to the successful implementation of this
important project is essential. The Fire Chief and her senior staff should demonstrate their
support of this project to the rank and file by publicly promoting the values of the 800
MHz radio system every chance they have.
It is recommended that the Chief of the Department establish an
implementation team made up of radio users, headed by a Battalion Chief assigned to the