RealNews

Florida Counties Talk on Interoperable Network During Emergency

The state of Florida’s new Interoperability (IO) Network successfully assisted first responders in rapidly responding to a fire in Putnam County on January 25, 2005. During the first unplanned use of the IO network, fire-rescue stations from Putnam County were dispatched to a residential fire and explosion in the western region of the county. Realizing the need for mutual aid, Putnam County Fire Rescue needed to contact Alachua County immediately. The two counties operate on different radio frequency bands, with Putnam County utilizing a legacy VHF system and Alachua County operating on an 800 MHz system. The Melrose Volunteer Fire Department, however, was able to request an IO network connection, allowing all apparatus assigned to the incident to communicate directly with each other. Combined 911 Communications Centers operated by the Sheriff’s Offices in Alachua and Putnam counties each used the IO network to establish a connection to their respective tactical channels and then to patch them together through the network. Full Story

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