September 1, 2010
San Ramon Valley Fire District (San Ramon, CA) in the San Francisco bay area is one of many busy emergency service departments relying upon the solid performance of Telex IP-223 IP-based network remote adapters for their mobile command vehicles.
Each IP-223 is capable of controlling up to two two-way radio base stations, and multiple units can be easily linked together in a single rack, offering control of all radio functions—and interfacing with telephone, satellite, Ethernet, and cellular devices—in a cost effective, compact package.
San Ramon Valley Fire District Communications Coordinator Chris Suter described how Telex IP-223 systems offer an ideal combination of robust reliability, flexibility, and user-friendliness:
“This is a Type One Mobile Command Post with five available dispatching positions and 32 radio systems of various types, 18 of which are connected to our Telex IP-223 units,” says Suter. “We also use an ACU system with eight of the radios, with two of those also running on the Telex IP systems. The radios can be used as standalone radios or as part of the Telex console control system. The idea was to not have a single point of failure possible anywhere, so the radios must work without a computer, or if a switch fails, etc. We’ve had this system in place for two years now, and it has proven excellent in the field.”
Though the vehicle has the radio flexibility to handle frequent use as a mobile command post, its primary function is as a 911 back-up communications center. “We have three locations in our district,” Suter continues, “and the mobile unit can take over for them all using our backbone IP-223 IP/radio network. The Telex system is very flexible, with far less hardware necessary than the other systems we inspected. Space is limited in a mobile environment, and the IP-223’s compact size, coupled with it flexible feature set, make it a highly cost-effective solution for this application.”
“The system is easy to program and set up,” Suter adds; “we like how it provides channel-to-channel interoperability with each console. Because we’re using mobile radios, we don’t have the consoles set up to change channels—we’re using all the capabilities of the radios. We can travel all over the bay area providing communications, and are not restricted to 2, 16, 24 channels—the radios select the channels. The IP-223 units are at the heart of an absolutely user-friendly dispatch system.
The unit also uses the Telex logging recorder with instant playback features. “The logging recorder provides tactical recordings that are otherwise difficult or impossible to capture,” says Suter. “These can be very useful for After Action Reviews. The instant playback feature really adds to personnel safety and the Incident/Tactical Dispatchers love it. They are used to having that feature available in their Comm Center, but it is unusual to have it in the field.”