Improving Emergency Responder Radio Coverage (ERRC)
What is a Public Safety Radio Distributed Antenna System?
Public Safety Radio (PSR) denotes the radio frequencies (RF) that first responders (Fire, EMS, and Law Enforcement Agencies) use to communicate in the field while responding to emergency calls. Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) are a multi-layered communications solution that when installed throughout a building enhance signal strength, coverage, and capacity by allowing wireless signals to more easily penetrate exterior walls and then evenly distribute those signals across your facilities. These systems are especially beneficial in areas notorious for having low coverage like parking garages, stairwells, and narrow corridors. When these systems are configured to target emergency responder radio coverage (ERRC) levels, they are called a PSR DAS. Almost every government or commercial building used for public or private purposes requires a properly tested and configured PSR DAS – especially when those facilities support high occupancy levels.
Why do my buildings require PSR DAS solutions?
If your organization owns an existing facility, is expanding that facility, or is constructing a new facility, then you need to know about emergency responder radio coverage (ERRC). And more specifically, how to ensure your buildings and facilities work to enhance the communications signals used by public safety agencies to clearly and effectively communicate while responding to emergency situations.
If Public Safety Radio (PSR) signals are blocked or otherwise impeded by the materials used in the construction of your offices, manufacturing plants, and other structures, your employees and the first responders deployed to save their lives are put at unacceptable levels of risk. Not only are the lives and well-being of your people at risk, but so is your organizations ability to operate those facilities.
Should any of your structures fail inspection by local fire marshals, you can have your certificate of occupancy (COO) revoked, or in the case of new construction, find it impossible to obtain a new certificate in the first place. Being unable to operate your business while ensuring maximum safety levels can have a considerable impact on your organizations bottom-line — impeding your ability to conduct business while creating legal and public relations issues due to lax organizational safety standards.
Who is responsible for testing and maintaining in-building ERRC levels?
It falls to General Contractors, building owners, and building operators to have their facilities tested by certified Public Safety Radio DAS (PSR DAS) professionals. If those professionals determine a PSR DAS installation is required to boost in-building ERRC levels, those responsible for the building must have a system installed and tested to ensure it passes all local, federal, and international code specifications.
What standards and codes need to be met?
Public Safety Code requirements are established by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the International Fire Code (IFC) with the backing of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and local governments. With these building regulations, new building construction must meet a minimum level of emergency responder radio coverage as a condition for occupancy. It is the responsibility of the parties mentioned in the previous section to have their buildings tested by certified DAS professionals. If it’s determined your buildings’ signal levels are inadequate, then an enhancement system must be installed to get it up to code.
How can MCA help you get up to code?
Mobile Communications America is a Tier 1 National Integrator of Public Safety Radio and Industrial-Grade DAS Solutions. We provide services every step of the way — including consultation, site surveys, iBwave design, solution engineering, system testing, and on-site installation. And with our equipment service agreements you can hire us to perform ongoing system monitoring and maintenance to ensure your buildings never fall to comply with local and federal codes. Contact us today for a free consultation and to learn about our monthly payment plan options.
OUR SIX-STEP PROCESS | MCA is With You Every Step of the Way
MCA consultants work with organizations, both big and small, to fully assess, determine scope, and gather the necessary requirements to provide a complete solution that fits your specific budget.
Site Survey + Design
RF Coverage is then tested, and if determined that a solution is required, MCA will formulate a plan and an iBwave design. Our design engineers are iBwave-certified and have years of inbuilding design experience.
With 20+ years as a tier 1 DAS Integrator, MCA’s project managers and technicians have a vast amount of expertise in installing any system, from a small, single-antenna BDA to a campus-wide DAS fiber solution.
MCA’s engineering group will optimize each component of the system to ensure peak performance using advanced RF test tools and bring the system fully on air. MCA installers are certified in all DAS OEMs.
Inspection + Approval
Once the system is on-air and tested, the system is ready for AHJ inspection and final signoff. MCA project managers will handle all upfront permitting and back-end approvals required to assure NFPA and IFC compliance.
Our equipment service agreements (ESA) include ongoing system support and annual site visits, and our in-house Network Monitoring System (NOC) notifies MCA of any issues for quick maintenance response.