New radio system will boost first-responder efficiency and improve public safety
Just in time for Pasadena’s largest annual public events – the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game – and a year ahead of deadline, the city of Pasadena is ready to roll out its new radio system designed to streamline communications among first responders.
The Pasadena Police Department is the first to implement the new system. By spring 2012 the $7 million project will replace the city’s entire antiquated municipal radio communications system with a modern digital system that will allow for seamless communication among city departments and other local governments, reaching all the way from San Bernardino County to the coast.
“The old system served the city well,” said Telecommunications Supervisor Steven Page, “but it was about 30 years old and outdated. This modern, digital-trunked radio system will allow city departments much greater communications access and range and make sure our first responders never have the communication problems firefighters and police in New York faced on September 11, 2001.”
The new system will allow emergency personnel to communicate easily without having to visually select the proper channels. Firefighters in the pitch blackness of a burning building, for example, will be able to hear the name of the selected channel announced by the radio instead of having to pause to try to look at the radio’s display.
The city’s radio project will be complete nearly a year in advance of the Federal Communications Commission deadline of Jan. 1, 2013, for local governments to convert to “narrowband” radio systems that essentially use a less broad section of radio spectrum. Narrowbanding, or the condensing of radio bands, will allow for significantly more radio traffic and much more efficient use of the available radio spectrum.