Puget Sound Emergency Radio Network (PSERN)

The Puget Sound Emergency Radio Network (PSERN) is a voter-approved effort to upgrade and expand the current King County Emergency Radio Communications System (KCERCS). PSERN will be a Simulcast 800MHz trunked radio system, utilizing P25 Phase II technology throughout the service area. It will also incorporate limited conventional VHF and UHF interoperability capabilities, primarily in the mountains. The network will primarily serve fire fighters, law enforcement, and other emergency response efforts throughout King County. The PSERN Project (Project) is leading the new emergency radio communications system development and when complete, a new, nonprofit entity, the PSERN Operator, will operate the system.

PSERN History & Future

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 implementing 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 completion date of the PSERN Project is February 2023. At Full System Acceptance, KCERCS will be officially decommissioned and the new PSERN Operator will take over.