Public Safety SmartBrief (Distributed by NENA – National Emergency Number Association)
January 19, 2018
Snohomish County, Wash., public safety officials are asking the county council for “urgent action” to replace its emergency radio system, which has been in service since the mid-1990s. “Soon our two-way radios will no longer be supported by the manufacturer and already are at increased risk of failing. A new, digital, P25 radio system is much needed,” said Snohomish County Emergency Radio System Board President Jon Nehring.
Everett Herald: Snohomish County’s emergency radios are breaking down
January 18, 2018
EVERETT — To keep police and fire radios from failing, Snohomish County has been stockpiling old parts from eBay. The website, founded in the 1990s, is slightly older than the aging emergency radio gear that saves lives each day in the county.
In the next three years Motorola will stop making parts for the analog equipment that has been a critical link for local first responders for decades.
Upgraded radios could cost taxpayers $70 million to $75 million
Note: May require paid subscription to view
KOMO News: Snohomish Co. public safety leaders: Emergency 911 radio system is “obsolete and failing”
January 18, 2018
EVERETT, Wash. — Public safety and county leaders in Snohomish County say the emergency 911 radio system is “obsolete and failing.” They’re demanding “urgent action” to replace the 19-year-old system.
“Unfortunately, we have to rob Peter to pay Paul. We’re borrowing from other agencies’ antiquated parts to keep our system running,” said Snohomish County Sheriff Ty Trenary.
KIRO 7: Snohomish County says failing 911 system will cost $75 million to replace
January 18, 2018
SNOHOMISH, Wash. – Snohomish County officials say if immediate action to fix the system that allows dispatchers to talk to fire and police and for them to talk to each other – this is what will happen when you dial 911:
“Unfortunately nothing,” said Snohomish County Sheriff Ty Trenary.
City and county fire, city leaders, and dispatchers called a meeting Thursday to urge the county council to address the 19-year-old Motorola radio system. A replacement will cost an estimated $70 to $75 million and needs to happen before the current system is discontinued in 2020.
Mill Creek View:
January 15, 2018
New Server Core & Radio Dispatch Console Workstations
2016 Sept 15 12:32
Marysville, WA – Every time a firefighter, deputy, emergency medical responder, police officer, dispatcher or any county/local first responder talks on a radio in Snohomish County, they’re talking on the SERS radio system.
Along with our vendor, Motorola Solutions, we just completed a project 1.5 months ahead of schedule which assures the sustainability of the radio dispatch console workstations and the central server core.
The central server core, which handles radio voice call processing, was 10 years old. The radio dispatch consoles used by dispatchers were over 16 years old.
In coordination with SNOCOM, SNOPAC and first responders in the field, SERS successfully cutover to the new equipment on August 31st. This was a carefully detailed plan which also required the system be put in a special limited functionality state known as Site Trunking, while the server core was cutover. While the entire cutover plan took the expected full day, the greatest impact to users were the two planned Site Trunking events, which were well under forecast time at just a couple minutes.
We’d like to say “thank you!” to all our public safety partners and also to everyone in SnoCo for your support and interest in our operation over the years!
Summer 2016 Projects
UPDATED: 2016 Jul 20 15:04
Marysville, WA – The current SERS public safety radio system is in the final stretch toward its planned end-of-life in 2020. SERS staff, the SERS board and our contracted vendors are all working to identify the requirements of the next generation system.
Until then, we’re keeping the current system going with the latest, and maybe the last, significant upgrade designed to extend the life of the system. Here’s just a short list of what this team of just 4 system technicians are working on, in addition to their regular tasks.
If you have questions or want to know more about these projects, we’d love to hear from you via our social media, or you may contact our PIO directly.
SERS Core & Radio Console Project Summary
This project is a longevity and supportability project.
Two major elements of the radio system will be cutover from old equipment, to new equipment. These two elements must be done together due to the age of the current equipment not being compatible with the new core.
The project and cutover is being managed and executed by Motorola Solutions. Support teams will be stood up at Motorola Solutions headquarters in Schaumburg, IL. Engineering and technologist staff from Motorola Solutions, in addition to those already on-site for the last several weeks, will be flown out for the cutover. During the several month staging process, SERS staff have been closely involved with the project and will be at each of the county’s two 9-1-1 centers (where the dispatch consoles reside) during cut-over.
These upgrades won’t change any of the radio frequency (RF) portions of the transmitter sites, so we’ll remain an analog Motorola SmartZone system with limited digital P25 Phase-1 capability.
If you use a scanner to monitor our system, this project will have no impact to your ability to continue to do so.
Much more information about the SERS system is available on the SERS Infrastructure page.
The two elements being upgraded/replaced are…
Radio Dispatch Console Upgrade
- Replaces 40 radio dispatch operator positions in SNOCOM and SNOPAC PSAPs
- Removes 16+ y/o PCs, long discontinued Motorola Centracom Gold Elite radio dispatch operator positions and all associated server room equipment
- Adds modern Motorola MCC7500 IP based dispatch consoles and associated PCs
Radio System ‘Core’ Upgrade
The radio core is responsible for all two-way radio voice call processing between radios in the field and dispatchers.
- Motorola server core upgrade from Motorola ASTRO v7.8 to ASTRO v7.16
- Removes/replaces some, but not all, of the very oldest pieces of the core system infrastructure
- No changes to RF infrastructure; system will remain an analog trunked radio system with limited digital capabilities
Tower Maintenance Project
- Routine scheduled tower safety inspections by contracted tower climbers
- Some towers will be getting fresh coats of paint to keep them visible to aircraft
Rebanding ‘2nd touch’ Project (on-going)
- The FCC mandated 800 MHz rebanding project is finally coming to a close for SERS
- Nearly a decade long project mandated to take place by the FCC, coordinated by Motorola, paid for by Sprint/Nextel
- Every radio in the field, no matter how much or little it is used, must be ‘touched’ or programmed to remove the old 800 MHz frequencies that are being handed over to Sprint/Nextel, by the FCC
- The ‘1st touch’ was several years ago and added the new frequencies in preparation of the transmitter sites changing over, which occurred last Fall
- The contracted crew is ahead of schedule, having nearly completed all fire departments and are starting work on law enforcement
New Fire & Regional Mutual Aid Talkgroups
Updated 2016 Mar 24 15:56
Marysville, WA – As part of the ‘final touch’ of the FCC mandated rebanding, where the old/transitional frequencies are removed from the radios in the field, we’re accommodating a request from county fire officials to modify the talkgroups they use. SNOCOM and SNOPAC fire will now use a common template.
Additionally, as part of a regional mutual aid communications plan, we’re adding new interoperability talkgroups.
Two tables describing these charges are shown below…
Group IDs are expressed in Motorola 6-digit decimal format and in the Uniden decimal ID most commonly used by scanners. You may need to convert these to a different format for your use.
Previous Talkgroup Name
Motorola Decimal ID
Uniden Decimal ID
|FIRE DISP 1||FIRE DISP WEST||800031||496|
|FIRE DISP 2||FIRE DISP EAST||800033||528|
|FIRE DISP 3||FIRE DISP NORTH||800035||560|
|FIRE DISP 4||FIRE DISP 5||800335||5360|
|FIRE TAC 1||*no change*||800037||592|
|FIRE TAC 2||*no change*||800039||624|
|FIRE TAC 3||*no change*||800041||656|
|FIRE TAC 4||*no change*||800043||688|
|FIRE TAC 5||*no change*||800045||720|
|FIRE TAC 6||*no change*||800047||752|
|FIRE TAC 7||FIRE TAC 21||800339||5424|
|FIRE TAC 8||FIRE TAC 22||800341||5456|
|FIRE TAC 9||FIRE TAC 23||800343||5488|
|FIRE TAC 10||FIRE TAC 24||800345||5520|
|FIRE TAC 11||FIRE TAC 7||800619||9904|
|FIRE TAC 12||FIRE TAC 8||800621||9936|
|FIRE TAC 13||*new*||800623||9968|
|FIRE TAC 14||*new*||800625||10000|
|FIRE TAC 15||*new*||800627||10032|
New Regional Inter-Operability / Mutual Aid Talkgroups
These groups are intended for users coming into Snohomish County from our regional partner systems. Once on a SNO IO group they would then be patched to the local group where they are needed. As such, these groups are generally not included in SERS subscriber programming. However, SERS subscribers do have the IO groups for our regional partner systems, but only if the radio has had ‘2nd touch’ completed on it and the latest template programmed.
Previous Talkgroup Name
Motorola Decimal ID
Uniden Decimal ID