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…

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…

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…

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…

Planning: Essential to Success

The success of a radio system deployment, like many other operational systems, depends on good planning. From the initial needs analysis, to the creation of a detailed bill of materials, to design and logistics including the in-building location of the radio system’s core infrastructure components, to definition of communications groups and users, and finally the…

Push to Talk (PTT) Over Broadband

Voice is still the killer app. That being said, there is still a growing industry need to extend commercial and mission critical LMR coverage beyond the geographic areas that LMR radio systems extend. Furthermore, many agencies and businesses require the ability to keep their personnel connected across disparate networks and devices. Since the 2016 decommissioning…

Legacy Radio Systems vs AFRRCS for First Responders

AFRRCS will deliver significant benefits to the First Responder, primarily including cross-agency communications capability.  Although there is no user fee to the First Responder Agency, approved AFRRCS P25 radios can cost substantially more, and there is an administrative overhead to consider through the transformation process. However, First Responder Agencies will not be paying for the…

AFRRCS Service: Triple Technician Redundancy, Triple Peace of Mind

  The real value of a great service provider is hard to measure, until there is an urgent need for service or the need for catastrophe response. The largest single risk to any communications network is interruption, especially if the communications are mission critical in nature. Most people do not consider the complexity and cost…

AFRRCS FAQ #3: The 23 Keys to Selecting a Technical Administrator

When a public safety agency outsources AFRRCS radio support, programming and servicing to an outside vendor, they need to enter into an agreement with an AFRRCS Technical Administrator and/or Trust Technician for those services. So what are the criteria an agency should follow for selecting a Technical Administrator? Your AFRRCS Technical Administrator and Trust Technician…

AFRRCS FAQ #1: 9 Key Questions Regarding Participation

The Alberta First Responders Radio Communications System is one of the most advanced  of its kind in existence. As with any complex new technology, there is a constant demand for the most current information, particularly regarding participation and implementation. I’ve created a series of 3 FAQs to provide answers to the key questions we encounter…

10 Things to Know About AFRRCS

The implementation of AFRRCS (the Alberta First Responder Radio Communications System) – a new P25 trunked two way radio network designed for use by first responders in municipal, provincial and First Nations agencies – is already well underway. The province-wide AFRRCS initiative seeks to vastly improve the safety of first responders (police, fire, and ambulance)…