The Lakes Region Mutual Fire Aid Association is a regional Fire and EMS Dispatch Centre in Laconia, New Hampshire, USA. They have selected a Tait solution to enhance the reliability and efficiency of their communications – an US$860,000 project taking place this year.
Lakes Region Mutual Fire Aid Association serves 35 member communities over an area of 1,800 square miles, with the mission to efficiently and effectively dispatch emergency services for the fire and EMS departments of their communities. The LRMFAA relies on radio communications to dispatch these emergency calls and coordinate the responses.
LRMFAA’s current radio system uses outdated technology and equipment, some of which is approaching 20 years old. When the communications system is operating at 100% there are no problems reaching responders, however this is often not the case. Hundreds of field responders, fire apparatus, and ambulances across New Hampshire’s Lakes Region are often caught-out by system failures, and only ‘educated guesses’ can help to pinpoint where the problem is. Combined with constant maintenance and repair costs, an upgrade is needed.
“To mobilize a power crew to a remote site, and then if they find it’s not at that site, we’ve only accomplished narrowing it down,” Chief Coordinator Jonathan Goldman said, adding that getting to a tower at the top Mount Belknap in winter is difficult. “You can’t just throw equipment into a car and drive up.”
Chief Coordinator Jonathan Goldman and Deputy Chief Paul Steele have spent the last two years investigating solutions to meet the organization’s needs both today and well into the future. They looked into the background and experience of potential vendors to be sure they were reliable and sustainable, as well as looking at pricing that would not bring on an undue burden for the member communities.
Tait Partners ALL-COMM Technologies of Massachusetts and Eastern Communications of New York have been selected for the upgrade project, after presenting a Tait solution that will greatly enhance LRMFAA’s radio network, technology, redundancy, and resilience. Compared to other offers, equipment from Tait Communications provides the best value and most feature laden solution.
The Tait solution will include higher-speed fiber optics and remote system monitoring. Just replacing the current antennas and feed lines will create a noticeable difference, Goldman said, but putting in a district-wide simulcast system will make it possible for someone in Warren to talk to someone in Strafford (at opposite ends of the district). Remote monitoring will mean that if a component is operating at 50 percent capacity or failing, a message will go to headquarters identifying the problem.
All current radio infrastructures are to be replaced, and the new solution will be installed this summer.
When asked what the most beneficial aspect of this project would be, Deputy Chief Paul D. Steele Jr. stated:
“I don’t think there is one single most beneficial aspect. The project brings updated technology, redundancy, and remote system monitoring among many other positive features.” He went on to say that “the proposed system has been designed and will be built for sustainability over the long haul.”
This post is an adaptation of an article originally published by The Laconia Daily Sun.
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