Motorola selected to provide emergency communications network

By Dan Aznoff | Apr 20, 2018

After more than a year of review and deliberation, Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring announced last week that Motorola Solutions Inc. has been selected as vendor to replace the aging Snohomish County Emergency Radio System (SERS).

Nehring, who doubles as president and chairman of the SERS board, said the vendor selection process to replace the “aging and failing countywide 911 radio system” began more than a year ago with SERS working with the public safety agencies throughout the county to assess their emergency communication needs.

The SERS board worked, he said, to create specific sets of requirements for meeting those needs in the most expeditious and cost-effective manner to assure we would get a new, high-quality and reliable radio system.

The selection process was performed in conjunction with Snohomish County’s Purchasing Division to ensure a fair, equitable and transparent competitive process was followed to enable all qualified vendors to make proposals.

“We are very excited to now be moving to the next step in that process of replacing our countywide emergency 911 radio system,” Nehring said.

Mill Creel Mayor Pam Pruitt, who represents her city on the SERS board, has been a proponent of new 911 system to replace the current radio system that experienced catastrophic failures of its emergency radio system that crippled a major portion of Snohomish County’s emergency 911 dispatch communications.

“Motorola clearly demonstrated that it has the proven capability with the most experience in deploying systems that met our requirements not only within the State of Washington, but all over North America,” Nehring said in a prepared statement. “The selection committee independently reviewed Motorola’s claims and confirmed a high-level of customer satisfaction by public safety and emergency communications agencies it has provided radio systems to that are similar to what is envisioned by Snohomish County.”

The Marysville mayor believes the county utilized the solid foundation of the to form a partnership “with a proven and capable partner that will serve Snohomish County well.”

SERS will begin negotiating a contract with Motorola. Nehing stressed the contract will be executed only after funding is authorized by the county. The additional funding could involve a proposed ballot proposition to be voted on in a countywide election later this year.

Ongoing negotiations will proceed to reach a precise, final dollar amount needed to acquire and install the new radio system. That stage of negotiations could be completed in June.

Until the new contract is approved, the county and SERS will continue to reference earlier preliminary estimates for the new radio system costs being in the range of $60-$75 million (2016 estimate by Stantec, SERS technical consultants for the project).

SERS mission is to help ensure the safety of the citizens of Snohomish County who are served by our First Responders from 48 law enforcement and fire protection agencies.

That may require expediting high-quality and reliable emergency communications between 911 dispatchers and first responders who currently use 5,000 two-way, push-to-talk radios to communicate with each other. SERS current radio system is a Motorola 800 MHz analog system that in 2020 reaches its 20-year end of life when replacement parts will no longer be available. The new system will be a P25 radio standard, digital system.

Concerns or questions about the new system should be addressed to contact@sers800.org.

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