Posted by Christa Bigue

The County of San Mateo’s Information Services Department (ISD) announced today that it has made available to other county agencies public safety radio equipment – at no cost to these agencies – to help enhance the critical communication infrastructure for public safety and emergency response.

By having more portable radio units available, first-responders and other critical personnel are better equipped countywide to communicate with each other in a time of disaster or emergency. Adding more remote receivers also increases the coverage of a municipality’s system and the reliability of that system.

“During disasters, effective and reliable communication across organizations is critical,” said Jon Walton, Chief Information Officer for the County of San Mateo. “We are proud to be able to partner with local municipalities to help all agencies within the county have a strong communications infrastructure for public safety.”

The County recently implemented a new 700 MHz P25 Radio System for public safety, the industry standard for mission-critical use, as well as improved overall system capacity. This start-of-the-art system is used by a number of County departments and other agencies for use during a natural disaster or other regional emergency. Through the decommissioning of its UHF trunking radio system, the County of San Mateo was able to make available to partner cities and agencies surplus equipment for use in their systems.

“San Mateo County and all of our city partners have had a rich history of working together to better serve our individual and collective communities,” said Michael Callagy, Deputy County Manager for the County of San Mateo. “When we have an opportunity to provide our partners with surplus equipment that will better enhance communication and public safety, it is a win for all of us. As a county, we continue to look for ways to work with our partners to provide the best technology and innovation to enhance the services to our community."

The County was able to deliver, at no cost, the following equipment to supplement other agencies’ public safety communications systems:

  • Sheriff's Office of Emergency Services - portable radio units for radio cache used by the Search and Rescue unit
  • Northern California Regional Intelligence Center - portable radio cache of 24 radios for emergency deployment
  • City of San Bruno Police Department - additional remote receivers to improve radio system coverage
  • City of East Palo Alto Police Department - additional transmitters and receivers to replace police communication system
  • City of Burlingame Police Department - additional remote receivers to improve radio system coverage

"Working with ISD's radio group, we were able to double our cache with newer radios and accessories at no cost," said Lt. Jeffrey Kearnan of the Sheriff's Office of Emergency Services. "It has already added value as much of the equipment was used during the Big Sur Marathon to help support public safety communications."

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