Historically, emergency radio service in King County was maintained and operated by many separate entities with differing operational standards, repair philosophies, maintenance response times, and budget cycles. In the 1980’s, there were approximately 170 disparate emergency radio systems in the region, but as technology evolved in the 1990’s, King County was able to significantly reduce that number to 7, founding the King County Emergency Radio Communications System (KCERCS), completed in 1997. The current system, KCERCS, is comprised of 4 system owners, but is now over 20 years old and past the end of its life. The lack of standardization and eminent obsolescence, eventually led to a voter-approved effort, which formed the PSERN Project in 2015 to unify and improve the emergency radio network.
The PSERN Project is developing the system over the course of about 7 years and once complete, a new non-profit agency, the PSERN Operator, will own, operate, manage, upgrade, update, and repair the radio infrastructure going forward. Estimated complete date is December 2022.