Motorola Solutions announced Columbia and Montour counties, operating as the Public Safety agency East Central Emergency Network (ECEN), and Northumberland County are each deploying upgraded Motorola Solutions' ASTRO 25 radio systems.

Motorola Solutions' ASTRO 25 system is a software-defined platform that combines radio and broadband services with additional functionality through the integration of voice and data, to provide features like group services and location awareness via push-to-talk. This system also enhances security with radio verification and encryption to prevent third-parties from accessing conversations that include mission-critical and/or personal information.

"The deployment of the ASTRO 25 radio systems and additional towers represents Pennsylvania’s continued investment in not just the latest in critical communications technology, but also in maintaining the highest levels of safety in its communities," said Dominic Ventura, area sales manager of Pennsylvania at Motorola Solutions. 

The upgrade includes the addition of new towers and life cycle support in Northumberland County to increase coverage for their existing ASTRO25 radio system. Additionally, land mobile radio (LMR) purchases for ECEN have been made to join the Pennsylvania STARNet state-wide radio network. These LMR purchases include standardized equipment and consoles to join STARNet, which will provide ECEN first responders with an overall increase of service and interoperability across the state.

“The initial launch of our new ASTRO 25 radio system combined with an expansion of the system in 2019, have produced excellent results exceeding expectations,” said Russell Fellman, 911 coordinator, Northumberland County. “A methodical approach permitted Northumberland County to save hundreds of thousands of dollars during the expansion of the radio system, provided increased radio coverage to enhance police officer safety, and ensured first responders in adjacent counties were capable of communicating directly with Northumberland County and its first responders during mutual aid operations.”

The partnership with Motorola Solutions spans many years with the three Pennsylvania counties in an effort to modernize the counties’ emergency communications platforms and integrate with their new and existing fleet of P25 APX radios.

“As commissioners, we negotiated savings with Motorola through the buy-back of existing legacy radios, resulting in a cooperative tone and advocacy for the project with our local police, EMS and volunteer fire departments. By joining the new Pennsylvania STARNet communication system, and using Motorola APX first responder radios, we anticipate seamless communication with county operations and among all emergency disciplines,” said Trevor Finn, Montour County commissioner.

Both ECEN and Northumberland County’s Motorola Solutions’ ASTRO 25 radio systems will provide P25 compliant systems, radios and dispatch consoles.

“Here at the East Central Emergency Network, we felt that our local needs would be best met with a partnership between us and the State of Pennsylvania (PA STARNet),” said Brian Pufnak, director of East Central Emergency Network. “This partnership has brought significant savings to the residents of Columbia and Montour counties, while transporting us into the next step of technology. With the savings being in the millions, and the technological advantages that will come with the new digital radio system, it just made sense.”

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