TAVARES — The Lake County Department of Public Safety, Communications Technologies Division, is commemorating the introduction of a new countywide 800 MHz public safety radio system with a “Go Live Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony” on Monday, July 13, at 10 a.m. in room 302 of Lake Tech’s Institute of Public Safety, located at 1565 Lane Park Cutoff, Tavares.
For the first time the new 800 MHz radio system allows for the coordination of all Lake County’s emergency response services, including the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, Lake County Fire Rescue and all local police and fire departments. Many of the fire and police chiefs from local municipalities are scheduled to attend Monday’s ceremony. To upgrade the County’s existing VHF radio system, the Lake County Board of County Commissioners approved a contract with Motorola on Sept. 18, 2007 following nearly two years of planning and frequency coordination.
“Public safety organizations in Lake County have lacked a means of dependable inter-agency communication,” said Gary Kaiser, Director of the Department of Public Safety. “For the first time, the completion of the 800 MHz project allows for portable communications across the entire County.”
The new 800 MHz radio system better equips all public safety personnel with the ability to communicate across all agencies and first responders in daily as well as crisis situations.
“The Groundhog Day tornadoes in 2007 focused immediate attention on our inability to communicate,” Kaiser said. “Law enforcement officers, firefighters and emergency medical staff from different jurisdictions lacked the means of communicating to one another. Some carried two or three different radios just for this purpose.”
Upgrading the existing public safety radio system was no small feat, but it was accomplished under budget and on time. The system was expanded from six radio tower sites to 18. All handheld and vehicle-mounted radios needed to be replaced. In all, the Communications Technologies Division distributed and installed more than 3,000 radios to Lake County agencies, Florida Highway Patrol and the 14 police and fire municipalities.