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  • PCWIN Board decision a win for Northeast Pima County

    Nov 23, 2015 | Read More News
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    logoOn Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015, the Pima County Wireless Integrated Network’s Board of Directors unanimously voted to allow the Northwest Fire District and the Golder Ranch Fire District to connect their VHF system to the PCWIN system via a permanent conventional channel gateway.

    The board’s move coincided with the fire districts’ decision to purchase more than 130 PCWIN radios – enough for every on-duty firefighter.

    “This is a win for Pima County because we now have total radio interoperability with our fire districts in Northeast Pima County,” said PCWIN Executive Director John Voorhees. “It gives the fire districts real-time communication capability with all of the other Pima County public safety and public service agencies on the PCWIN network.”

    Both fire districts are members of the Southern Arizona Fire and Emergency Rescue Consortium and Assistant Fire Chief Doug Emans, a SAFER-Consortium representative, agreed the board’s decision is a win for the community.

    “We are pleased that the PCWIN Board recognizes the value of interoperability with agencies operating outside of the 800MHz PCWIN system. This decision represents the ability to provide better communications as well as additional options and opportunities for SAFER Consortium members,” Emans said.
    “It’s also fiscally responsible for Consortium members as investments in our legacy communications systems are ongoing. Through collaboration, this action results in enhanced community and firefighter safety.” 

    Oro Valley Police Chief Daniel Sharp agreed.

    “With fire service for Oro Valley provided by Golder Ranch, Mountain Vista and Northwest, this enhancement is extremely valuable for the Oro Valley Police Department and the businesses and residents we serve,” Sharp said.

    The agreement reached between PCWIN and the fire districts brings to a successful end years of negotiations.

    The two fire districts initially minimized their participation in PCWIN citing concerns they had over radio system coverage in Pinal County and digital technology, which was relatively new when Pima County began designing the 800 MHz radio system in 2004, Voorhees said. 

    The gateway will mitigate the coverage concerns beyond Pima County’s border and allow the fire districts to evaluate the efficacy of digital technology while maintaining their own legacy communications system.