Boxborough Police and Fire, MA, USA
"At the end of the day, what's most important is the lives and safety of not only the employees, but the people we serve. Now we know, without a doubt, that our communications are going out fully and all messages are being received. It's a great system. "
For many years, Boxborough Police and Fire dealt with older technology for their communications. It was unreliable and susceptible to failure. Chief Warren Ryder shared the following story about a particular communications failure that almost cost him his life:
“I had an unfortunate incident where a suspect tried to carjack me. He pulled a gun that he'd just stolen from a housebreak, and began to chase after me. As I returned fire, I called for backup – screamed for backup – but unfortunately the old radio system we had did not give me communications.”
Fortunately, Chief Ryder survived the incident safely, but the need for an updated communication system was clear.
When it was time to install a new communications system, Boxborough had three major concerns. First, they wanted their new system to be open-standard so it could work with their existing portables and mobiles. Second, they needed a system that would be robust enough to handle environments that were not always optimal. Third, the solution needed to meet their coverage needs, provide a long-term solution, and still fit within their budget.
Boxborough reached out to Harris-Tait dealer, ALL-COMM Technologies. The President of ALL-COMM, Paul Boudreau, came to Boxborough and analyzed their needs. He suggested a Tait powered solution from Harris.
The Boxborough Fire Department selected an Analog Simulcast over IP system, while the Police Force chose a P25 LSM Simulcast system. Both systems could run on the multi-platform Tait TB9400s. The Tait powered communication backbone was designed to provide coverage over the difficult topography of the region and for portables and mobiles from different vendors.
The new system has provided several benefits to Boxborough Police and Fire, as well as the community of Boxborough. First, the officers have communications they can rely on. They know that dispatch will hear them, and that they will receive communications from others. Not only does this enhance safety for officers, but it has improved response times for local and mutual aid calls. Dispatch is able to give clear directions, accurate arrival times, and keep people connected.
Second, audio clarity has increased dramatically. When Boxborough listens to the radio communications of their neighboring agencies using older analog equipment, they realize they’ve become “spoiled.” As Chief Ryder said, “our ears have become so accustomed to the clarity of the Tait system that listening to an analog channel now, it's difficult. It's kind of like going from high definition television to a black and white antenna reception”.
Third, the ability to monitor and manage their system remotely has been a huge improvement from both a safety and productivity standpoint. With the old system, they had no idea there was a problem until communications were lost, and then they had to start searching to find the cause of the problem. With the new IP connected system, Chief Ryder can log in with his computer and check on the health of the network. If there is a potential issue, they know about it and can fix it early, before communications are lost for the officers.
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