Dare County, N.C., and the Motorola Solutions business of Motorola has announced the county is preparing for installation of a new $7 million 800 MHz Motorola ASTRO 25 release 7.8 digital radio system this year that will allow public safety agencies countywide to talk with each other as well as other agencies on the state's VIPER Radio System.

Motorola last month completed successful factory staging of all equipment and delivered the system to Dare County in preparation for installation, which is expected to be completed later this year in time for communications to go live in early 2011. The system includes an integrated voice and data simulcast network with six voice sites and nine paging sites, upgraded dispatch consoles, 146 Motorola XTL2500 mobile radios, 136 Motorola XTS2500 portable radios and 27 Motorola XTL2500 control station radios. 

"Once the system is completed in early spring 2011, all Dare County public safety personnel will be able to communicate with each other on one radio system, anywhere in the county, as well as with other users outside of the county who are on the state VIPER radio system," said Dare County Sheriff Rodney W. Midgett. "The new system will also provide improved voice coverage as well as enhanced coverage and capabilities for the existing paging system. Another plus for us will be the system redundancies and backup power, which are critical in the event of a hurricane or similar emergency. Our goal is for all public safety personnel in Dare County to be transitioned over to the new 800 MHz radio system before the busy 2011 Easter holiday."

Dare County Sheriff's Office officials, including Communications Director Major Almey Gray, Assistant Communications Director Lora Nock and Systems Administrator Talmage Willis, attended this month's system staging at Motorola's Customer's Center for Systems Integration (CCSI) in Schaumburg, Ill. CCSI is used to stage Motorola's complete two-way radio communications systems prior to shipment for installation at customer sites worldwide. 

In addition to Motorola-manufactured equipment, the staging process includes inventory and testing of system components provided by Motorola and its partners and suppliers. This helps ensure that components meet Motorola quality standards, are compatible with other components included in a specific system, and meet customer requirements. Systems are configured similarly to how they will be installed in the field and then tested to replicate actual customer applications.

"The project testing in Schaumburg consisted of all equipment for the voice and paging sites that will be located throughout Dare County," Gray said. "Three days were spent successfully completing 139 pages of diagnostic testing in preparation for shipment and then installation later this year by Motorola technicians. Once the system is completed, we will conduct field testing and begin training of radio system operators and sheriff's office E911 operators."

"Motorola is pleased to provide Dare County with this state-of-the-art ASTRO 25 Integrated Voice and Data system" said Marshall Wright, Motorola vice president. "The interoperable communications and data services will provide a robust network that will wirelessly enable a variety of applications to enhance County operations and provide critical services to citizens throughout the County. Motorola has been providing mission critical solutions to public safety throughout North Carolina for many years and we look forward to completing this system that will benefit Dare County first responders and the citizens they serve for years to come."