Puget Sound Emergency Radio System Project Construction Happening Now!
By Karla Clark
The Puget Sound Emergency Radio Network (PSERN) is in progress and construction has begun on several radio sites throughout the County.
Currently, first responders use the King County Emergency Radio Communications System to coordinate activities at emergency events, communicate with each other and with their supervisors directing response activities. However this system is over 20 years old and is in danger of failing if it isn’t replaced. PSERN will replace the existing system with a brand new one.
There is a lot of work that will go into building the new radio system including electrical work, building and upgrading shelters to house equipment, building new towers and extending or upgrading existing ones and much more. So far, the PSERN Project has completed two radio sites—Federal Way and Crista and are currently doing electrical work and shelter upgrades at Squak Mountain and Top Hat.
Recently, the Project did a tower extension at King County’s Regional Communication and Emergency Coordination Center (RCECC). Tower extensions are typically done in order for the microwave paths to be able to reach each other, we have to make sure the radio tower is tall enough to clear buildings, trees and terrain. In some cases, an entire new tower needs to be placed where there isn’t one already or to upgrade an existing one such as the tower replacement that will take place at Norway Hill soon.
Over the years, the population throughout the County has steadily increased and residents are living in regions they didn’t before which creates coverage challenges for the current system. PSERN will provide better Coverage, Capacity, Capability and Connectivity so that first responders will have reliable radio communications to do their jobs effectively and efficiently.
For more information about the PSERN Project visit www.psern.org or @radiomatters on Twitter
A shot of the tower extension in action! The circle near the top shows where two construction workers are sitting there waiting to guide the top of the tower in.
Here is a close up.