Years in the making, a $24.6 million upgrade to Volusia County’s public safety radio system earned the County Council’s unanimous approval in June.
Volusia County First Responders to get Radio System Upgrade
All first responders in Volusia County – law enforcement, fire and emergency medical services – rely on the radio system to communicate with each other in the field, receive real-time updates and stay connected to the dispatch center while responding to emergencies.
The existing 800 MHz system, which supports more than 9,000 radios, is nearly 30 years old and the technology has reached the end of its life cycle. In many cases, replacement parts are no longer available.
Meanwhile, public safety radio needs have advanced beyond the capability of the units currently in use. Developed by public safety professionals, P25 standards for two-way radio systems have become the industry norm because of its enhanced reliability and the ability for radios on different radio systems to communicate with each other regardless of the manufacturer.
Interoperability, or the ability to effectively connect with other radio systems, is particularly important in fast-moving events that involve multiple jurisdictions. In fact, it’s absolutely crucial for the safety and protection of both residents and responding officers.
As part of the upgrade, the county plans to increase the number of towers from 13 to 15 to improve radio coverage. The entire project is expected to take approximately 2½ years to complete.