Update on Mono County's Radio System
On December 19, 2017, in the meeting of the Mono County Board of Supervisors, an item was presented by Nate Greenberg of Mono County’s Information Technology Department, to update the Board on the County’s current radio system, the on-going maintenance, and the need for some modification, including an additional staff person and a multi-agency approach to management, funding, and operating the Public Safety & Administration Land Mobile Radio System.
Mono County is committed to providing quality emergency response to our citizens and visitors. In order to do so, we employ a series of technologies which provide redundancy and stability should primary means of communication fail or be unavailable. These systems are in place today, and are fully operational.
Any call to 911 placed from a landline phone from within the County is routed directly to Mono County Dispatch in Bridgeport. Any 911 call placed via a cell phone is routed to CHP in Bishop or to Mono County Dispatch, depending on the caller’s location and device capabilities. If the call is routed to CHP, it is then transferred to Mono County Dispatch. If Mono County Dispatch is down for any reason, all calls are routed to Inyo County Dispatch. There is solid coordination between the agencies to ensure that all 911 calls are answered and properly routed.
Responders rely on the County’s Public Safety Radio System to communicate between one another in the field, as well as with Dispatch while handling events. While this system is dated and in need of an upgrade, it is functional. Built into the system are several layers of redundancy which include multiple ‘channels’ at each communication site and backup links between sites. Occasionally sites or channels fail – this is something that our dispatchers and responders are familiar with, and protocols exist when these situations arise which guide or direct users to alternate means of communication.
Additional communication means have been established for responders using the Verizon Wireless network. These include standard cellular phone communication, Push-to-Talk communication methods, and app-based services which provide First Responders with access to pages coming from Dispatch. In the event that there are failures within the radio system, this technology provides a viable alternate means of communicating.