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Federal Government Awards Grant For First-Responder Communication System

mikeantonovichSupervisor Michael D. Antonovich joined with local officials in praising a $155 million grant from the Federal Government for the Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System (LA-RICS) -- a modern, integrated wireless voice and data communications system that will support more than 34,000 first responders and local mission-critical personnel within the region.

 

Additionally, the system will also support interoperability with state and federal agencies, such as the California Highway Patrol and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The system, dubbed the “LA-Safety Net” is a public safety broadband network that will enhance communication between all emergency responders in the Los Angeles region.


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“Los Angeles County is home to 88 cities, 134 unincorporated communities, 50 law enforcement agencies and 31 fire service agencies,” said Antonovich. “This system will enable agencies to communicate across different jurisdictions with one voice.”

“With 85 members, including over 80 of our 88 cities, LA-RICS is a model for our state and the nation in terms of its size and scope,” he added. “With this $155 million dollar down payment from the federal government we urge the City of Los Angeles to be an equal player and join the county in its financial investment into operations of the LA-RICS JPA as we move forward.”

The communications revolution has provided us with tools to change the way we live and work and this large investment puts much needed 21st century technology in the hands of the men and women we entrust every day with our lives,” said Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. “LA-Safety Net, a high-speed cutting edge, wireless data network, will become an invaluable asset, whether in day-to-day operations or during emergency events, making the entire LA Region safer and more prepared than ever before.”

The $155 million federal grant is the largest ever awarded to upgrade emergency services communications. The grant will affect more than 80 public safety agencies and approximately 34,000 first responders working within the over 4,000 square miles of Los Angeles County. Emergency responders had long sought a solution to the problem of multiple agencies now being able to effectively communicate during the wide-ranging emergencies known to the area. Problematic cell phone usage and old-fashioned runners passing messages between command posts will be replaced by a new land mobile radio system (voice) being developed separately, as well as a new public safety broadband (data) system. The majority of the funding for the broadband system will come from this grant.

The new LA-Safety Net system will:

  • Enable computer-aided dispatch, rapid law enforcement queries, real-time video streaming, medical telemetry and patient tracking, geographic information systems services for first responders and many other broadband-specific applications.
  • Law enforcement will be able to send and receive photos of suspects and transmit video to supervisors.
  • Paramedics will be able to instantly transmit vital patient information to emergency room doctors.
  • Firefighters will be able to send real-time fire video to a command post and incident commanders can automatically monitor the deployment of resources around a fire.

The system is estimated to complete in 3-5 years with a total cost at $700 million. For more information, visit www.la-rics.org/