Simoco Group, along with its partner Bay Electronics, has supplied an IP-based simulcast system for the emergency services throughout Door County in Wisconsin, North America, as part of efforts to improve the region’s communications network under updated government regulations.
The global mobile radio provider and partner upgraded Door County’s multicast system after one of its fire departments secured a grant to address the reduced quality of coverage and paging as a result of the FCC narrowband mandate enforcement.
With a wide area of over 6,000 km² to cover, Door County also identified simulcast as the best system to meet the ever-growing demands placed on emergency responders. Simulcast enables the 18 municipalities to broadcast the same signal across multiple overlapping sites on the same frequency at the same time and without interference.
This means that its 72 law enforcement officers, 26 paramedics, 486 fire fighters and emergency medical responders, and 150 response vehicles can efficiently communicate in any location – even in areas that previously had insufficient coverage.
Based on the original RF design and system specifications as provided by Door County’s consultant, G.J. Therkelsen and Associates, Simoco’s partner Bay Electronics designed, supplied, installed and networked the system to create an enhanced county-wide communication system by interfacing the 911 dispatch centre to 11 sites: Washington Island, Ellison Bay, Fish Creek, Chambers Island, Baileys Harbor, Sunnyslope, Jacksonport, Justice Center, Brussels, Mill Road and Southwest.
It comprises Simoco’s Solar 2 Simulcast technology, which interoperates with a number of receivers, repeaters and microwave radios designed by Simoco and other manufacturers.
Chris Hecht, Fire Chief at Sister Bay and Liberty Grove Fire Department, which secured the grant on behalf of Door County, said: “The new Simoco Solar2 simulcast system has exceeded our expectations. The local and county responders are now able to use a radio system that is not only user friendly, but also meets the current needs of the emergency response community.
“Since its implementation, we have seen a significant improvement in emergency alerting and radio coverage as well, as redundancy in equipment and coverage to reduce the potential of critical infrastructure failures.”
One of the driving factors in Door County choosing Simoco’s simulcast solution was the need to use an IP solution in lieu of an analogue-based solution. The Simoco Solar 2 Simulcast is built on an IP network, which means it can enhance the reach and quality of radio communications.
“Emergency services around the world depend on reliable radio systems to deliver wide area coverage in times of need,” said Gary Correia, vice president of Sales and Business Development at Simoco Americas. “Door County is no exception. Without a reliable communications system in the region, people’s lives and property are at risk of being in serious danger.
“With an IP-based simulcast system able to synchronize multiple duplicated frequencies (regardless of the size and complexity of the requirements), Door County is able to effectively manage a comprehensive simulcast network and benefit from wide area coverage in the event of an emergency.”
“I knew the simulcast system would be cutting edge technology before we proposed the system to Door County,” said Rick Nielson, president of Bay Electronics. “Once we finished the interfaces and adjusted the audio timing and levels we were pleasantly surprised with the outcome. The system not only performs extremely well from a Simulcast point of view, but the audio quality far exceeds what the county had before. The audio quality is superb.”