Simoco Wireless Solutions has been chosen to supply Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) Tier II equipment across England and Wales’ mountain rescue service.
Mountain Rescue England and Wales (MREW) comprises 48 teams of volunteers, operating across diverse geographies to help people who have encountered difficulties in the outdoors, particularly walkers and climbers but also assisting partner emergency services in a wide range of operations. Clear and reliable radio communications are a must to enable these teams to carry out their missions efficiently and safely – and most teams currently use outdated analogue radio networks to achieve this.
Simoco has been chosen to supply DMR Tier II systems that will comprise over 1000 digital radio devices and base stations across MREW teams. DMR Tier II is the United Kingdom search and rescue agreed standard for land search and rescue communications to ensure interoperability.
The roll-out includes Simoco’s 700 Series of portable and mobile radios, specifically the SDP760 digital portable radio and the SDM730 mobile radio terminal, both of which are capable of operating across multiple analogue and digital modes. The 600 Series base station – which supports instant push-to-talk voice communications and VoIP telephone connectivity as well as open-standards applications support – completes the picture.
DMR delivers greater clarity, reliability, scalability and better coverage as well as enabling MREW to deploy features such as a GPS mapping application so that control room based volunteers can precisely locate and track teams out ‘on the hill’. Crucially, Simoco’s solution is fully interoperable with MREW’s existing analogue systems, meaning that mountain rescue teams can swap between digital and analogue networks. This means that teams at different stages of their digital migration can continue to collaborate.
Mark Lewis, ICT Officer at MREW, said, “Right from the start, Simoco Wireless Solutions understood that our top priority was ensuring interoperability between our existing analogue systems and any new digital equipment. Many incidents also require us to communicate effectively with other emergency services, such as the coastguard and police helicopters and air ambulances.
“We’re a complex organisation, staffed entirely by volunteers, so it would be impossible for us to migrate entirely to digital at the push of a button. We look forward to working with them for many years to come.”
Ian Carr, Chief Operating Officer at Simoco Wireless Solutions, said, “MREW is a truly inspirational organisation. These volunteers are out at all times of day and night, in all conditions, in some of the most rugged and risky terrain in the country. Clear and reliable communications aren’t just a nice to have in these contexts; they really can be a matter of life and death. We’ve worked with MREW in the past on developing their analogue communications network and we’re delighted to now be helping them move to a digital future – while continuing to maximise their existing investment.”