FIRST RESPONDERS RADIO COMMUNICATIONS (FRRS)

Auxiliary Radio Communication Systems

METROCOM is an FDNY Approved Vendor for Auxiliary Radio Communication Systems. We provide developers, building owners, GCS, CMS and low voltage contractors with turnkey ERRCS solutions, specifically configured for each structure. We successfully design, install and maintain each system while meeting the most stringent building code requirements in regard to public safety radio communications.

Our solutions for ARCS and ERRCS systems are the product of decades on hands-on experience in dealing with in-building wireless emergency communications. METROCOM offers an absolutely reliable product developed for First Responders working in the most harsh and difficult environments.

SERVICES

  • Design
  • Installation
  • Project Management
  • Maintenance

METROCOM works hand-in-hand with the construction industry to ensure that new and existing high-rise construction projects fully comply with NFPA 1221 and other standards for First Responders Radio communications.

REGULATORY REQUIREMENTS

Regulatory requirements for two-way Emergency Communication Systems (ECS) are specified in National Fire Protection Association NFPA 1221®: Standard for the Installation, Maintenance, and Use of Emergency Services Communications Systems. NFPA dictates the deployment of Auxiliary Radio Communication Systems (ARCS) or Emergency Responders Radio Coverage Systems (ERRCS) in thousands of high-rise buildings in order to provide radio coverage for First Responders.

Reliable emergency communications are critical to effective emergency response by First Responders – fire services, law enforcement, emergency medical services, and others. NFPA 1221® addresses service delivery – from receiving calls to dispatching emergency units to the correct location in the defined period of time. Such a system must integrate with existing portable radios used by First Responders to ensure total and seamless communications during an emergency.

NFPA 1221®

Many public-safety and building-code officials realized that an effective national standard for ARCS was needed to ensure uniformity, guarantee effectiveness and encourage widespread adoption. Toward that end, the NFPA 1221® was developed. It provides safety provisions to meet fire detection, signaling, and emergency communications demands. One of the goals is to make available a structured approach for the development and implementation of emergency communication strategies. Section 9.6 (Two-Way Radio Communications Enhancement Systems) provides a comprehensive, integrated approach to fire code regulation and hazard management and offers specific recommendations for performance, testing and monitoring of the radio enhancement system.

The following elements are required:

  • The system must operate without causing interference to other parts of the public-safety radio system (section 9.6.5.1)
  • Critical areas of buildings must have 99% coverage and general areas must have 90% coverage (sections 9.6.7.4 and 9.6.7.5).
  • Minimum inbound and outbound signal strengths of DAQ 3.0 for either analog or digital signals (section 9.6.8.1)
  • The system must be capable of retransmitting all relevant public-safety frequencies (section 9.6.10).
  • At least two independent and reliable power supplies must be included (section 9.6.12).
  • A 12-hour battery backup ensuring 100% system operation is necessary (section 9.6.12.2).
  • An automatic-monitoring system with a dedicated panel in the fire command center of the building is mandatory (sections 9.6.12.3 and 9.1.2.2).
  • Ability to add system frequencies (section 9.6.10.2).

Fire Department of New York Standards

As of December 31, 2014, the New York City Building Code requires, in Sections 403.4.4 and 907.2.13.2, that an in-building auxiliary radio communication (ARC) system be installed and maintained in all newly constructed high-rise buildings. An ARC system is a wireless two-way building communication system for Fire Department use only that receives and transmits Fire Department portable radio frequencies within the building.

The FDNY has adapted NFPA 1221® with the following requirements:

  • Dedicated Radio Console fire command center with handset or headset , visual display, fire department standard key (#2642)
  • In-Building Auxiliary Radio Communications System (ARCS)
  • Must cover 100% of building critical areas
  • Must cover 95% of total floor space
  • Minimum inbound signal strength of -95 dBm.
  • Minimum outbound signal strength of -95 dBm.
  • Perimeter: building’s limits
  • Frequencies: all public safety frequencies (UHF)
  • Signaling: rebroadcasting to all receiving radios
  • Power Supply: in accordance with section 760.41 of the NYC Electrical code.
  • Emergency transmission interrupt
  • Retransmit or display firefighter’s IDs
  • Ability to withstand 90o C heat
  • Should a building fail to meet the necessary coverage requirements, NYC building code requires either a repeater channel system or a simplex channel system.

METROCOM‘s First-Responder Radio System (FRRS) solution fully meets the requirements of NFPA 1221® and the FDNY.