City to revamp radio network

By Robert Frank

Laval city council has voted to pay Motorola Solutions Canada more than $10 million to bring it’s emergency telecommunication system into the 21st century.

“It’s new technology that is better than the older system that it will replace,” spokeswoman Valérie Sauvé told The Suburban.

New antennas and repeater stations will pop up throughout Laval to serve the new network that city police, firefighters and other emergency responders rely upon. The network will also serve Laval metro stations.

Motorola will also train some 600 city police officers and 300 firefighters how to use the system and install and maintain the city’s new mobile and portable radios as well as base stations and other related equipment.

“First of all, the audio quality will be much better,” municipal network department head Dominique Bazinet told The Suburban. “The remote radios also receive global positioning satellite signals. They feature a panic button that an emergency responder can press to transmit their exact location to dispatchers.”

The biggest improvement, though, will be to improve Laval’s ability to conduct in joint emergency operations.

“It’s a breakthrough,” Bazinet enthused in an interview. “The new radios can interface with other cities’ telecommunication systems. That will permit Laval emergency services to communicate with their counterparts in other cities with whom they are working.”

“Once the new telecommunication system is deployed, we will be able to work more directly with the North Shore, Terrebonne, Sainte Thérèse and Blainville as well as with Urgence santé [ambulances],” he added. “Until now, if we had to conduct a joint operation, we had to lend them our radios in order to communicate. Henceforth, they will be able exchange information with us using their own devices.”

“It will take a full year to implement,” Sauvé explained.

She added that the network ought to be operational by 2017 and that the city expects its ten-year deal with Motorola to save taxpayers about $400,000 a year.


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