Supporting Grand Traverse County first responders

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Sen. Wayne Schmidt

Sen. Wayne Schmidt

Throughout Michigan there is a lot of talk about modernizing our state’s infrastructure. In addition to the need to upgrade roads, bridges, and water pipes, we are also making strides to update something that is often overlooked, but that is just as important to the safety and well-being of residents — the Public Safety Communications System (MPSCS).

About 25 years ago, the MPSCS was established to provide a statewide radio communication network for first responders. According to the Department of Technology, Management & Budget, which operates the system, it is a stable, secure framework for interoperable communications among local, state, federal, tribal and private first responders, supplying a public safety communication resource for all.

With more than 244 radio towers and 66,000 radios, the network spans nearly 60,000 square miles and is the second-largest trunked communication system in the world.

I am proud to say that Grand Traverse County will be joining the newly expanded MPSCS this spring. During March and April, the county will be switching 750 radios and 250 specialty pagers to the fast, reliable and far-reaching network to provide better communications for the county’s first responders, which will benefit all who live and visit the county.

I was honored to join MPSCS’s Brad Stoddard, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Emergency Communications Activities’ Admiral Mike Hewitt, and other emergency communications professionals at the recent Statewide Interoperable Communications Conference to help announce this news.

We often take for granted the infrastructure, systems and, indeed, the people who serve our state to ensure public safety. It is a critical function of government we depend on and expect to just work when an emergency happens, and I am committed to supporting this reliable and sustainable communications network so our public safety professionals can provide the best service possible.

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