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Kentucky Agencies Link in Statewide Interoperability Demonstration

National Guard, State Police and fire connect through single communications system.

by / August 7, 2003
FRANKFORT, Ky. -- Six different public safety agencies in Kentucky recently linked via the same communications system. The statewide interoperability demonstration used M/A-COM's NetworkFirst; an IP-based system based to enable public safety agencies to communicate with each other.

With more than 200 Kentucky first responders viewing the demonstration, members of the Kentucky National Guard, State Police and Frankfort Fire Department spoke, for the first time, using disparate brands of two-way radios and also communicating over multiple frequency bands. Currently, each of these agencies only has the ability to communicate with other officials within their own organization. In order to communicate outside of their organizations, these agencies must use multiple radios or communicate through the same frequency band.

The demonstration involved public safety and federal agencies located across Kentucky. The communications ring stretched more than 360 miles from the eastern county of Pike to the western county of Muhlenberg.

Since the system is IP-based, it can run over any intranet. For the demonstration, the company connected its NetworkFirst system into the intranet operated by Kentucky's State Police and National Guard units. Emergency officials from the Frankfort Fire department, Frankfort's Emergency Operations Center, and Greenville, Kentucky's Range Control, a National Guard facility, were then able to communicate in groups or separately using different channels and frequencies.

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Miriam Jones Chief Copy Editor
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