Puget Sound Emergency Radio Network (PSERN) Newsletter

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What is PSERN?

PSERN (Puget Sound Emergency Radio Network) is a project that will replace the current and nearly 20 year old emergency radio communications network that police, fire and other first responders use with a new and improved one, if funded by King County voters.

The current emergency radio communications system was designed in 1992 for the County’s population at that time. Over the years, the population throughout the County has steadily increased and residents are living in regions they didn’t before which creates coverage challenges for the current system.

Parts of the system are wearing out and over time, will be subject to increased risk for service outages and dead spots in coverage, and will make effective communications for emergency responders more difficult.

By the end of 2018, Motorola the vendor we use to supply new and replacement parts and repair used parts for the system will no longer provide them.

If funded, PSERN will provide several new and improved features such as better reliability, increased capacity to keep up with King County’s growing population and additional radio sites to provide improved coverage for first responder communications.

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Who is Involved?

There are four partners/owners working on the project—Eastside Public Safety Communications Agency (EPSCA), King CountyCity of Seattle and Valley Communications Center (ValleyComm). King County is responsible for leading and implementing the project on behalf of the partners/owners and will see the project through to completion.  All the partners will be involved in key project decisions such as the network design, project budget, and project schedule. 

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Contact us: psern@kingcounty.gov


Next issue: March 2015

Welcome to the PSERN Official Newsletter! This is the place to stay up to date on the latest project news. This issue in an introduction to PSERN along with recent events that have taken place on the project. In the future, the newsletter will be distributed bi-monthly and will include project updates, milestones and other happenings.

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  • About the Project
  • Project Status
  • System Vendor
  • A&E Consultant
  • Project Partners
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Project Status

Last Month, King County Executive Dow Constantine proposed a plan to replace the current emergency radio network, which is nearly 20 years old, has parts that are wearing out, and suffers from a limited coverage area.

The proposal transmitted mid-December 2014 requires approval by the Metropolitan King County Council. The proposal would ask voters to approve lifting the lid of an existing property-tax levy to generate the estimated $273 million needed to replace the radio network. The proposal would increase the levy by 7 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value over a nine-year period. The King County Council will set dates for public hearings on the proposal. 

If the proposal is approved by the King County Council, a funding measure will be placed on the ballot this Spring.

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PSERN Project Director, David Mendel and Project Manager, Hai Phung look on as KCIT Chief Information Officer Bill Kehoe signs the Motorola Solutions system vendor contract.

Motorola Solutions Named System Vendor

Following an extensive procurement process and several months of contract negotiations, Motorola Solutions was recently selected as the system vendor for the project. Motorola, the vendor for the current system, previously announced that it will no longer be able to provide service or maintenance for the existing emergency radio system after 2018.

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Odelia Pacific Corporation Confirmed as A&E Vendor

Odelia Pacific Corporation (“OPC”)  was selected as the vendor for the PSERN project. OPC will assist the County with specific design services, installation of associated radio tower equipment, and transition services associated with the transfer of the current emergency radio system to the new PSERN.

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