Digital radio upgrade for Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service has awarded its long-standing partners Radiocoms Systems Ltd and Entel with a contract to deploy a digital radio upgrade across the service’s 42 stations.

Steve Mulka, Entel, Global Product Manager, said, “Working closely with the team at Norfolk FRS and after a rigorous evaluation process related to fireground trials for suitability, the Entel DX485 and DT985 series were found to meet all the required parameters.”

As part of the service’s digital transformation plans, several hundred hand portables will modernise Norfolk’s FRS, offering a specification to meet and exceed the hazards they will encounter in their field of operation. Entel’s technical support team have demonstrated their adaptability as an organisation by tailoring the devices’ configuration to meet the exact requirements of the brigade, this included: audio optimisation for direct lead connection to Draeger COM 5000 – ensuring the best audio clarity and quality in both digital and analogue modes when used with breathing apparatus; simplified asset management of the brigade’s radios – ensures radios are returned to the correct station/user after a multi-station incident response; and enhanced user interface, including custom sounds, voice annunciation and LED behaviour.

Other key benefits included the radio’s extreme ruggedness and IP68 (2m for four hours) submersibility rating, high quality loud audio, easy to read OLED display and future-proof design.

Working together, Radiocoms and Entel will continue to provide an ongoing service and support to the brigade.

Perry Smith, Technical Support Officer, Norfolk FRS, said, “Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service have been using Entel devices for their fireground communications since 2006. In this time, we have progressed through several different models and have found that the quality and performance offered by each of the Entel products to be of a very high standard. Over the last two years, we have been working with Entel to develop a digital product, tailoring the software to specifically meet our requirements as a fire and rescue service.

“The DX485 and the intrinsically safe DT985 digital models have been selected for our latest migration and both have been configured to allow us to come in line with National Operational Guidance relating to incident ground communications. This will help to future-proof our inventory of radios, thereby enhancing firefighter safety and ensuring our preparedness for the wide variety of incidents that we attend.”

Mark Blythe, Managing Director, Radiocoms Systems Ltd, said, “We are delighted to once again support Norfolk Folk on their radio upgrade. Norfolk has been a Radiocoms customer and Entel user for more than 14 years and it was a natural progression for the service to upgrade to the DX and DT series hand portables and utilise the benefits of digital communication on the fireground.”