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County Prepares to Launch P25 Digital Radio System

Daviess County Fiscal Court provides an update on the implementation of the P25 digital radio system for county first responders.

It’s been a two-year project to replace the legacy VHF system, and the rollout should be complete in the next two months.

“The P25 digital trunked system is state-of-the-art,” said Judge-Executive Al Mattingly.  “That’s the wave of the future.  The City of Owensboro moved in that direction several years ago.”

“By us moving to a P25 system, it allows us to have intercommunication with Owensboro Police, Kentucky State Police, and the Owensboro Fire Department, everyone can talk to each other,” he added.  “Our VHF system had four channels at max.  Now, we are virtually unlimited to the number of channels we can have on this digital system.”

The coverage of the digital radio system is also far superior to the VHF, especially on the portable handheld radios.

“Before, if we got 60 plus percent coverage, that was a miracle,” said Fire Chief Jeremy Smith.  “Everything was based on our mobile units in the vehicles.  If you weren’t at your vehicle, you lost so much strength and you couldn’t communicate.”

“With the new system, it was built for portables,” Smith added.  “So if we walk away from the fire truck, we are getting 95 to 99 percent coverage throughout the county.  It allows us more assurance as we go out on a call to help those in need.”

Motorola has completed all of the major testing procedures for the new system, and it’s working well as contracted.

The Daviess County Fire Department and Daviess County Sheriff’s Office are utilizing some of the new mobile radios already.  The remaining portable units are completing programming at Ohio Valley 2-Way.

This new radio system will be used by all Daviess County first responders, including the volunteer departments.

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