Picture this: you are in an emergency situation at your work, school, or local big-box retailer. How do you make sure that help is on the way? Emergency responder radio communication systems (ERRCS) are the primary means for reaching out to first responders when you need help in an emergency.
For those who have never heard of these types of systems before, don’t worry. Here is your guide on how emergency responder radio communications systems work.
ERRCS receive radio signals from an external public safety frequency, which differs from the AM and FM frequencies you use to listen to sports and music. The ERRCS uses a bi-directional amplifier, also known as a BDA system, in order to boost the frequency in areas of a building that might not receive good signal coverage, such as a stairwell or elevator.
The BDA system works in two directions because it can amplify signals from a local emergency radio tower throughout a building, but it also communicates outgoing radio signals from the emergency site to the radio tower. In addition to a BDA system, ERRCS distribute signals throughout a building via a network of antennas and coaxial or fiber optic cables. First responders use special handheld radios that pick up signals from ERRCS so they can provide assistance quickly and effectively.
ERRCS can improve signal coverage in a variety of settings. If ERRCS need to reach many people in a specific area, then they might make emergency announcements throughout the stairwells, basements, parking garages, and elevators in a building. However, they also reach areas where specialized workers are so they can receive updates on the situation, such as in mechanical or electrical rooms, security desks, fire command centers, and in areas of refuge or shelters.
You will find ERRCS in most public areas, such as healthcare facilities, residential and commercial buildings, schools, stadiums, and even houses of worship. Government buildings, prisons, and courthouses also possess robust ERRCS. You might recognize ERRCS the next time you go to a sporting event or big-box retailer by looking for a series of antennas on top of the building or along the walls.
Overall, ERRCS save people’s lives in countless emergency situations. Now that you know how emergency responder radio communications systems work, you can appreciate the work that first responders go through and the equipment they use.