CHICAGO — When an emergency strikes, first responders across Iowa need to communicate seamlessly, and today that is a reality with a new ASTRO®25 statewide radio system from Motorola Solutions (NYSE: MSI). Dallas County is now connected to the expanding Iowa Statewide Interoperable Communication System (ISICS) and first responders are preparing to experience the benefits.
By joining the Motorola Solutions-built ISICS, Dallas County is taking advantage of a cost-efficient and technologically advanced mission-critical radio system without having to build an entirely separate system. During the next few weeks, county first responders will get ready to use the system by training on new Motorola Solutions award-winning APX™ P25 two-way portable and mobile radios, along with new dispatch consoles for the county’s emergency communications center. Dallas County is expected to be operational on ISICS in May 2017.
“Dallas County needed to upgrade its VHF communications system which has operational limitations due to narrowbanding and adjacent jurisdictions that operate on multiple other radio systems. Interoperability was impossible and it was a challenge to communicate across the county for daily operations,” said Dallas County Sheriff Chad Leonard. “With our new Motorola Solutions simulcast P25 700MHz trunked system and connection to ISICS, we finally have the opportunity to converse operationally countywide with law enforcement, fire and EMS services and across the state. This has been a need for many years that is now being finalized.”
ISICS has been operational since July 2016 and is built on Project 25 (P25) standards-based technology. Westcom Emergency Communications, a consolidated dispatch center for the cities of West Des Moines, Clive, Urbandale, Norwalk and Waukee, connected their P25 system to ISICS in mid-2016.
“Westcom’s migration to ISICS is beneficial to the responders in our five communities and ultimately the citizenry we serve by improving interoperability,” said Assistant Chief of Logistics Rob Dehnert from Westcom.
Several emergency management agencies across the state are in the process of joining ISICS. The Woodbury County STARCOMM system will be operational on ISICS in June 2017, and Mills County is the latest to announce that it will join the system and be operational in early 2018.
ISICS has already played a crucial role in providing seamless communications at major events held in Des Moines, including last year’s Iowa State Fair and the National Governors’ Association (NGA) 2016 Summer Meeting. Gov. Terry Branstad welcomed 23 governors and their teams from across the country to the meeting, which required interoperable communications between state and local first responders. Security is a top priority at these events, and police, fire and EMS personnel were able to communicate securely on ISICS’ dedicated mission-critical network.
Visiting governors’ security teams could also communicate from their mobile phones with local first responders using two-way radios using Motorola Solutions WAVE™ Work Group Communications technology. WAVE provides broadband push-to-talk for secure communications across any network and any device.
“The Iowa Department of Public Safety (DPS) is proud to be a part of this interoperable solution for public safety agencies in Iowa. Finally, agencies will be able to communicate seamlessly with their mission-critical radios during emergencies,” Bureau Chief Thomas Lampe from the Iowa DPS Communications Bureau. “Having one statewide radio platform is a great solution and a clear path towards total statewide interoperability.”
“Motorola Solutions is dedicated to working with Iowa first responders as ISICS continues to expand to other emergency management agencies across the state,” said Ali Kapadia, sales vice president, Motorola Solutions. “ISICS is built with the latest P25 technology to make sure that Iowa first responders can talk with each other from one end of the state to the other in major emergencies like tornadoes or during daily traffic stops in Dallas County. Iowa is now one of 35 states across the United States with statewide radio systems built by Motorola Solutions.”
Public safety agencies in every corner of Iowa will be able to benefit from secure, interoperable communications as ISICS continues to expand throughout the state with a cost-efficient and modern mission-critical infrastructure.