Two Way Radios For Emergency Services

Probably one of the most important two way radio industry uses are for emergency services. Optimum connectivity to all personnel is critical. Two way radios in Oil and Gas facilities represents just one vital tool for emergency services. Here specialist Atex radios would be deployed to emergency crews, to both those permanently on site and those attending from the outside. On the opposite side of this would be two way radios in education due to the rise of incidents in our education facilities requiring emergency services to repond.

Search and Rescue teams are the most likely emergency service to purchase analogue or digital two way radios. Often they may find themselves in remote environments where there is no Mobile or Airwave Tetra coverage. Using two way radios will allow personnel to keep in touch no matter how remote the environment. There are distance limitations and users will still need to be in the line of sight but the two way radios will effectively create their network anywhere.

Two Way Radios for Emergency Services

Airwave Network

Within the UK, the Police, Fire and Ambulance services all have access to the Airwave Network which forms part of the nation’s Critical National Infrastructure. The system was designed specifically to provide secure and speedy communications during major incidents.

Emergency Services Network (ESN)

The UK Government is building a new Emergency Services Network (ESN) critical communications system. This will replace the current Airwave service used by the emergency services in Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland) and transform how they operate. ESN will enable fast, safe and secure voice, video and data across the 4G network and give first responders immediate access to life-saving data, images and information in live situations and emergencies on the frontline.

ESN will deliver:

  • secure and resilient mission-critical communications the emergency services and other first responder communities can trust to keep them safe
  • a modern voice and data platform which will enable the emergency services to improve front-line operations
  • a common platform to enable emergency services to work more closely together for data sharing in emergencies

The core application on which ESN runs is being provided by Motorola Solutions and the network infrastructure is being built by EE, by upgrading its existing network of around 19,000 masts, deploying 700 more 4G masts in rural areas and building new sites.

The Home Office is supplementing this coverage by building 292 masts to give emergency services coverage in some of the most remote and rural areas of Great Britain. These sites are known as the Extended Area Service (EAS).

Tetra Two Way Radios for Emergency Services

To use the Airwave network, emergency services need to use Tetra radio equipment. This equipment is predominantly supplied by Sepura and Motorola Solutions.

Terrestrial Trunked Radio (TETRA) is a digital trunked mobile radio standard.

Some unique PMR services of TETRA are:

  • Full duplex voice
  • Wide area fast group calls 
  • Allow back-to-back communications between radio terminals independent of the network 
  • High-level voice encryption to meet the security needs of public safety organizations 
  • Emergency call facility that gets through even if the system is busy 

Atex Two Way Radios for Emergency Services

ATEX two way radios are designed to withstand explosive atmospheres, such as mines and other hazardous areas. Highly hazardous manufacturing environments such as oil refineries and petrochemical plants will use Atex radios. This ensures that workers can conduct their maintenance and operational requirements safely, while still being in full communication with their team.

In emergencies, such as in oil refineries and petrochemical, if a fire or explosion were to occur then the on-site emergency team would be deployed but also the Fire Service would be called out. To ensure swift communications between the Fire Service and the on-site team, The Fire Service will, in all likelihood, already have their own Atex two way radio equipment, paired to their breathing apparatus, with designated radio channels pre-programmed so that when they reach the site they can communicate instantly with the on-site team and start to deal with the emergency immediately.

In addition, Fire Services can have their own ATEX two way radios for all situations where fire crew need to enter areas with explosive gases. Some sites that need to be attended may not have radio coverage with their existing Tetra handsets, or they may not have the applicable rated Atex Tetra handsets to operate them in certain environments.

With the introduction of Digital Atex two way radios such as the MOTOTRBO DP4801 Ex, these radios offer the best solution as they now include features such as:

  • Intelligent Audio
  • Noise Cancellation
  • GPS tracking
  • 256-bit AES256 encryption
  • Transmit Interrupt