PSERN Newsletter December Issue

Brave staff from Valley Regional Fire hard at work.
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From the Director

2015 has been pivotal for the PSERN project.

Over the past year the PSERN project team worked fast and furious perfecting a cohesive project plan to build a brand new emergency radio network to replace the current aging one. King County along with its project partners Valley Communications (ValleyCom), Eastside Public Safety Communications Agency (EPSCA) and City of Seattle collaborated to ensure the new network would have the Coverage, Capacity, Capability and Connectivity that first responders need to continue to keep King County safe.

Once the plan was done, it was up to the King County voters to approve a ballot measure for the project—which they did on April 28, 2015. Since then we have been hard at work hiring vendors, adding new staff, developing schedules, identifying sites, providing equipment recommendations and reviewing design documents from the network vendor Motorola Solutions Inc.

As with any project this size, we have had some scheduling challenges along the way. While the initial phase is behind, we’re still on schedule to complete the project on time and on budget by September 2020.

I would like to take a moment to thank my dedicated project staff who continues to work hard to ensure that we will build a new network that will meet the expectations of first responders, partners and King County residents. 

As 2016 approaches, I am looking forward to continued success and progress working towards building a new and improved emergency radio network!

-David Mendel, PSERN Project Director

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PSERN Spotlight- John Wright, PSERN Construction Manager


John recently joined the PSERN team as a Construction Manager. During the past 28 years with METRO and King County, John managed construction projects including the Downtown Seattle Transit Project (Bus Tunnel), the West Point Wastewater Treatment Plant expansion and plant renovation, Route 70 Trolley line electrification, and a host of transit operations and maintenance facilities.

John brings a wealth of experience as a former construction manager for all of Metro Transit’s radio communications upgrade projects, and is coming to KCIT from Metro Transit’s Design & Construction section where he has worked as resident engineer since 1996.

John says he is very excited to become part of the PSERN team, and is looking forward to the challenges and successes that lie ahead!


Meet Officer Squelch


Officer Raquel Squelch joined the PSERN team just before the holidays fresh from the academy in Plantation, Florida and is excited to be in the Northwest. Officer Squelch is a cousin of PSERN mascot "Mic" who told her about the cool project he is working on and encouraged her to apply for the second mascot position.

Together she and Mic will keep you up to date on the latest happenings throughout the PSERN project and you may see them in your area at some point so keep you eyes peeled!

Mic gives Officer Squelch the 411 about the project on her first day.

Memorable Moments in 2015

high 5

In this Issue:

  • From the Director
  • PSERN Employee Spotlight
  • Did You Know?
  • Project Buzz
  • Year in Review Pics
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Did You Know?

King County Roads keeping streets clear during a winter storm.

Last month, we talked about the PSERN Joint Board and their role on the project. What you may not know is that in addition to the PSERN Joint Board, there are sub-committees that have been put in place as well to advise project staff on various aspects of the project:

PSERN Task Force-The PSERN Task Force is a cross section of network users and subject matter experts including first responders, public works, schools and hospitals. They are responsible for providing two-way communication between users of the network and the Project. Duties include: Ensuring updates on schedule, scope, user equipment and overall project information and materials are distributed to their user groups. In addition, the Task Force is responsible for communicating concerns, questions and information from the user community to the project team.

PSERN Technical Committee-The Technical Committee is responsible for communicating recommendations on technical issues to Project staff based on user needs. Duties include: Developing technical criteria for vendor RFP’s, RFP evaluation and scoring, reviewing technical documents and communicating questions, concerns or issues to Project team.

PSERN Operations Committee-The Operations Committee is a cross section of high ranking users of network and subject matter experts including chiefs, managers and supervisors. They are responsible for communicating recommendations to Project staff about users’ operational needs, the operational impact of pending Project decisions and offer solutions to operational-related issues.  In addition, they will communicate Project information to users, collect and analyze information from users, and communicate activities between users and the Project.

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Glimpse Ahead...

As you know we are still very early in the project and besides information about how radio sites are built or the governance behind the project there questions more relevant to those who actually use the emergency radio network.  I’m sure you are wondering the bottom line which is “When do I get my new radio?” Well here is a quick overview of some of what will happen leading up to that time. Please Note: Timelines and Schedules are approximate and subject to change

November 2017-May 2018

Console Installations- Approximately ~120 consoles will be replaced in dispatch centers throughout King County in 18 different locations.

September 2018-February 2019

Drive Testing- Teams made up from technical staff, vendors and users will perform automated as well as subjective testing on all 600,000 test locations County wide.

June 2019-March 2019

Portable/Mobile Installs and delivery of radios  

March 2019-May 2019

Pilot Testing- Before any mission critical users are switched to the new network, 100 selected participants made up a large cross section of the network user community will test all features and functionality of the new network.


Next Issue: January 2016

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