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STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESSFULLY IMPLEMENTING AN 800MHz RADIO SYSTEM IN THE PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY ... - page 37 / 54

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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).

RECOMMENDATIONS

The recommendations made based on the findings of this research project include

the following:

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.

2.

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

Office of the Chief. This will create a sense of ownership and buy-in from the individuals

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