Adding 700 megahertz frequency channels, which better penetrate buildings, has been recommended to help resolve indoor dead spots troubling Washington County’s three-year-old, $12.9 million VHF digital radio system for emergency responders.
The committee asked Schmidt to consult with the system’s manufacturer, Harris Corp., Fort Wayne, Ind., to determine costs and a timetable for such an installation.
“VHF will not meet the high expectations that all public safety and users want for indoor site coverage,” Schmidt said. Creating a hybrid system with 700 MHz capabilities would improve the network, he said. “I’m not going to say this is a magic bullet.” No radio system can be 100 percent effective, he said.
Schmidt, Capt. Steve Gonwa and department Radio Systems Administrator John Schrader presented their findings based on a system analysis conducted by Tusa Consulting Services LLC, Covington, La.