911 Radio Project

An Overview of First Responder Equipment

York County’s emergency responders will get new portable, mobile (vehicle-mounted) and control (base station) radios to use on the new 700 MHZ public safety radio system.

The County is planning to cover the cost of this equipment for emergency responders pursuant to a census that was taken during project planning. Municipalities and other eligible partners, as applicable, will be responsible for purchasing radios for public works staff and other non-emergency personnel.

Department of Emergency Services staff has already begun meeting with local response agency associations to discuss and present the new equipment, but we wanted to offer a brief overview comparing the new vs. old radios.

For an overview of the overall radio project, click here.
For a birds-eye look at the 41-month project schedule, click here.
Check out all blog posts by going here.

Mobile Radios: Although the new mobile radios have been redesigned, their functionality will largely mirror existing equipment. Mobiles used by EMS will be outfitted with the capability to also communicate on UHF frequencies to so they can communicate with the local hospitals.


                                      Exampes of the new XG-75 Portable Radios

Portables: The new portable radios will feature changes/improvements compared to existing equipment:

  • Weight: The new XG-75 radios weigh 15.8 ounces, 18 percent less than the current portables (19.2 ounces). They are also somewhat smaller (5.89” x 2.44” x 1.94” compared to (6.75” x 2.58” x 1.79”).
  • PHASE II Compliance: This allows two simultaneous conversations on a single frequency, reducing the number of frequencies needed without impacting service levels.
  • Noise Cancellation: The current portable radios in use by local emergency responders cancel noise through its ruggedized speaker microphone (collar mic) design (padding, etc.). The XG-75 offers active noise cancellation through software and two microphones (front and back of the radio itself). The radio software compares noise from the front microphone (where individuals speak) and rear microphone to isolate and eliminate background noise. 
  • New Battery Types: The new radios will come standard with lithium-ion batteries (compared to Nickel Metal Hydride standard in the current radios). Lithium Ion batteries are lighter, do not need to be conditioned, charge faster and have little or no “memory” (where batteries gradually lose their maximum energy capacity if they are repeatedly recharged after being only partially discharged).
      • Recognizing the benefits of lithium-ion, some local agencies have already opted to purchase optional lithium-ion batteries for their current radios.
  • A/B Switch: The new radios feature a switch on the top of the unit that allows users to rapidly change between the A & B banks without needing to unlock and use the radio keypad. The radios will be strategically programmed to accommodate discipline needs. This feature addresses a common request from local response agencies. The switch can also be programmed to stay on the same channel in both positions to accommodate agencies concerned about accidental change in switch position.
  • The new equipment will include speaker microphones. 

The Department of Emergency Services has available an example of the new portable radios for responders to handle at our building, 120 Davies Drive in Springettsbury Township.  

Paging Equipment: The project does not include changes to the pagers used by first-response agencies. 

Your feedback and questions on this project are invited (click here for guidelines). Please leave a comment below.


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