PSERN News Summer Edition


Welcome to the Summer Issue of PSERN News!


From the Director

With summer almost gone, the project team is super busy continuing civil site development work.  There are 9 sites slated for construction coming up and we are pleased to announce that we have selected our first general contractor for the Project! 

After a long competitive procurement process MasTec was selected to serve as General Contractor #1 (our civil site construction contractor). MasTec is a well-respected company who has been involved in some of the largest and most complex communications projects across the country. Soon we will be issuing them a work order for the first 4 sites to begin construction work. 

 As you can imagine a project this size needs several contractors on board. We are close to awarding a bidder for General Contractor #2 for the next 10 sites. Potential bidders went through the ITB process and then completed site tours with PSERN Construction Managers. These visits give them a chance to see the sites they may be working on up close and personal. 

Lastly, we recently formed the PSERN Operations Board. The Board is comprised of users of the radio system from all disciplines including Police, Fire, Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPS) Emergency Management, Hospitals and Utilities. They will be responsible for advising the Joint Board on operational issues during the project and help shape operations once the system is fully implemented and accepted. You will have a chance to meet them in the next issue of the newsletter.  

As always thank you for your support as we move forward with our goal of building a new and improved emergency radio system. 



David Mendel, PSERN Director 

Site Scoop

Upclose and personal look at the tower at the Top Hat Site!

First 9 Sites Chosen for Construction!

There are a total of 9 sites that are slated for construction in the coming months. The sites in bold mean construction should begin in September.  


Federal Way

East Tiger

King Lake


Top Hat



West Tiger

Shelters Shelters and More Shelters! 

One of the big tasks at the radio sites will be the shelters. The shelters are imperative since they will be used to hold the radio equipment at each site! Depending on the site, the type of shelter could vary. Some of the existing shelters will need to be upgraded or replaced and some sites will need a new shelter altogether. Shelters have been designed and are currently in the process of being ordered! 

To give an idea, here is a look at one possible type of shelter a radio site could have.

PSERN Staff Member Joins King County Bridge Fellowship Program

Each year, 12 employees are selected to attend the prestigious King County Bridge Fellowship Program. The program is a six-month intensive program that teaches employees leadership skills and tools. PSERN's very own IT Lead Sean Douglas was chosen as one of the participants for 2016! He has been learning lots and is eager to bring back his knowledge to the team, "The Bridge Fellowship Program is important because it will allow me to grow in a personal as well a professional manner in my work with all of our stakeholders, users and project team members.  We are given challenges that must be solved with little or no guidance. As you can imagine on a project as complex as PSERN these skills are vital," said Douglas. We are excited to hear all that you learn Sean!


sean 2
PSERN IT Lead Sean Douglas on top of Grass Mountain site.

Sparky Speaks!


(From Sparky's Blog Takeover) 

Now that I’ve settled into the Project, I feel its time for you to get to know a little more about me. Shhh….FF Mike doesn’t know I am using his blog!

Anyway, don’t be alarmed if you find yourself scratching your head at some of the “geek speak” you are about to witness. It will eventually make sense but this blog is really for all my uber techy friends out there. (smile)

Okay so basically, the overall System Vendor is Motorola Solutions Inc., who will also supply equipment from Aviat Networks and Nokia.  Let’s see….there is so much to talk about…… Land Mobile Radio (LMR system), Dispatch Equipment, End User devices and the Microwave Backhaul. But I think I want to talk about the LMR system today!

So here’s the deal. We are purchasing a MSI 7.20 Dynamic System Resilience (DSR) equipped ASTRO25 core with 7 Simulcast subsystems, and 3 Multicast subsystems.  The system will be a Project 25 Phase I & II 800 MHz voice system with the Integrated Voice and Data option.  This option will allow our users to leverage newer features like Over The Air Programming (OTAP), Over The Air Rekeying (OTAR) and Outdoor Location.  We’re building in lots of redundancy as well.  The ASTRO25 Core will be fully geo redundant as well as each of the simulcast prime sites being geo redundant.  We’re adding capacity as well.  The metropolitan areas of the county will see an increase of capacity to 30 talkpath while the more rural areas will see their capacity increased to 10 talkpath. We’re also improving the coverage.

In the metropolitan areas, the design criteria is for 97% Covered Area Reliability with a portable radio worn on the hip using a 14.3 dB attenuation factor at street level.  In the more rural areas of the county it will be 95%. What does all this mean? It means more Coverage Capacity Capability and Connectivity! Which means new and improved emergency radio system overall! As you can see I get really excited about this project and I hope you are too. Yikes I hear FF Mike coming down the hall! Can’t let him catch me on the blog! He thinks I’m still a newbie But I think I did a pretty good job. Don’t you?

I will be sharing more as time allows. Gotta jet!


Did You Know?


It took less computer power to land on the moon than is in a new Motorola radio?

Next Issue: September 2016

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