HSSE SAFETY BULLETIN: Dealing with Hantavirus

What is Hantavirus? Hantavirus infection is caused by a virus that is found in some rodents. The principal carrier is the deer mouse or white-footed mouse which is commonly found in Alberta. Hantavirus is found in the urine, saliva, or droppings of infected mice. People can contract the Hantavirus infection through inhalation of respirable droplets…

Wireless Connectivity in Open Pit Mining

As conventional hydrocarbon reserves decline, oil and gas companies worldwide are sustaining growth and maximizing profitability by building out rugged and reliable broadband wireless solutions for communications. In today’s mining operations, the challenge is in providing the required Wireless Broadband IP bandwidth to support everything from remote office infrastructure and SCADA to autonomous hauling, M2M,…

Considerations for AFRRCS Migration

The Alberta First Responder Radio Communications System is one of the most advanced communications projects in Canada’s history. There has been a fair amount of misinformation regarding the system itself, who qualifies for access, what the various technological and administrative requirements are, and how to best begin the migration process. I’ve taken the time to…

Top 3 Applications for Communication on the Slopes

From the largest winter resorts to the most remote back country trails, you’ll often find little-to-no cell phone coverage for your mobile devices when participating in winter alpine sports. Two-way radios provide an excellent communications option for those entrusted with the safety and smooth operation of the remote winter playgrounds we as Canadians so often…

Wireless vs Fibre

As a country we have relied on fibre communications as our primary means of wide area network connectivity. Fibre is extremely expensive to provision due to right of way access, permitting, construction, labor, and cost of material.  Meanwhile a lot of other countries have leap frogged Canada by deploying fixed wireless microwave communications. Many countries…

Radio Consoles: CSSI v Native P25

The APCO P25 Console Subsystem Interface (CSSI) standard allows dispatch consoles from different manufacturers to be connected to the controller/core of other manufacturers’ P25 radio systems. CSSI is a subset of the ISSI standard interface. For example, a Zetron console could be connected to a Motorola P25 radio system, or an Avtec console could be…

Winter Safety Tips

Every season brings a different set of potential safety hazards to be aware of. Being aware of potential hazards and learning what precautions to take will help minimize the effects of seasonal safety concerns. Winter can be a challenge when working. Be safe. Use your winter PPE when on your job site if you have…

The 7 Principles of a Successful Partnership

Early in my career I was introduced to some key principles in regards to developing meaningful relationships with strategic suppliers. I was introduced to the concept that Suppliers are every bit as important as Customers, and should be treated as such. This continues to resonate through ongoing joint sales, marketing and business development initiatives that…

3 Key Capabilities: Why Westcan was Named the AFRRCS Official Preventative Maintenance + Break-Fix Supplier

The highly sought-after AFRRCS maintenance contract was awarded to Westcan ACS in May of 2016. The award was the result of an exhaustive public tendering process in which numerous factors were considered including: demonstrated ability to perform, capabilities, price, and qualifications – among many others. In addition to demonstrating superior value, Westcan ACS elevated itself…

School Safety & the Role of Effective Communications

Increased emphasis on School Safety Programs have had a profound influence on the safety and security of students in recent years. In these uncertain times having effective communications strategies – and the accompanying equipment required to make them efficent –  is of vital importance. School lockdowns drills have become a mandatory practice, much the same…

Antennas: A Crucial Component of Successful System Design

When designing a radio system, the antenna is a crucial component. You want to maximize the RF energy from your radio to be radiated from your antenna. The antennas are specified with some of the following considerations: Maximum Power – The amount of RF that they can typically handle without failing. An antenna that is rated…

8 Key Factors That Influence The Design of Firefighter Radios

One of the essentials of Firefighter Safety is having the right equipment. Whether that means the latest in protective gear, the most efficient tools, or effective communications, a Firefighter must be confident that their equipment is going to work as expected, under extreme circumstances. Radio communications are essential to Fire Services. The radio is a…