Volusia County’s public safety radio system to get $24.6 Million upgrade.
Written by Anthony Bicy
Belden Communications News
After waiting for several years, Volusia County’s public safety radio system earned the County Council’s approval for a $24.6 million upgrade.
According to a release, 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.
“It is critical that the county’s public safety land mobile radio be upgraded to a modern P25 system now to ensure the continued reliability of public safety communication,” the county stated in a 2019 document seeking bidders for the new system.
On Tuesday, July 22nd, the county approved the project, saying the expense is an absolute necessity.
The reason that it took so long is because of the complexity of the project the contract took months to write and negotiate. Last year, the County Council selected Communications International, Inc. of Vero Beach, the same company that brought about its original radio system, to make the new P25 system.
The bulk of the money, about $23.5 million, is for the system backbone, such as tower site equipment and dispatch consoles, and approximately 3,300 new radios on top of upgrades to existing radios.
The contract also includes maintenance for 17 years after the completion of the new system.
Sheriff Mike Chitwood was one of the first to give his gratitude.
“Our men and women in uniform are better equipped, and our residents and visitors are safer thanks to this move, and I’m grateful to the County Council, administration, and every member of staff for their foresight on this project,” Sheriff Chitwood said.