The Chester County Department of Emergency Services (DES) operates an emergency voice radio system that supports over 5,000 law enforcement, fire, and emergency medical services (EMS) responders as they accomplish their mission of protecting the over 500,000 residents of Chester County.
The current system, installed in the early 1990s, is based on analog technology that is becoming obsolete and is inadequate to meet the requirements of emergency responders and citizen expectations.
On February 14, 2013, the Chester County Board of Commissioners signed a $42.1 million contract with Harris Corporation for design, installation, testing, operational implementation, two years of warranty, and eight additional years of maintenance for an Association of Public Safety Communications Officials (APCO) Project 25 Phase 2 compliant digital voice radio system (Chester County Voice Radio Project). This system will support the Board of Commissioners’ “Public Safety” strategic goal, will satisfy the emergency responders’ requirements, and will meet the National Interoperability Communications Goal. Determined and aggressive negotiations also supported the “Smart Financial Management” strategic goal by achieving the dual benefits of additional system features and a contract price reduction of over $10 million from the initially submitted proposal.