Lexington public safety agencies no longer hamstrung by a proprietary communications system

13 November, 2014, Houston, Texas

Global leaders in the design, delivery and management of critical communications systems, Tait Communications and Airbus DS Communications, formerly Cassidian Communications, have implemented a P25 digital communications system for Lexington-Fayette Urban County including Bluegrass Airport.

The open-standards-based solution includes an 800MHz P25 digital trunked network from Airbus DS Communications, along with 800 Tait 9155/9160 terminals purchased under Tait's Smart Value Plan.

Director of Enhanced 9-1-1 for the City of Lexington, Kentucky, Robert Stack, says the Tait Smart Value Plan made the purchasing decision a no risk process.

"In the past, proprietary systems have pretty much hamstrung us into buying only one brand of portable or mobile. The shift to P25 open standards has been a really positive thing for us because it allowed us to specify the best vendor for the best price," said Stack. "We knew that Tait radios delivered in terms of quality but the Tait Smart Value Plan also removed the uncertainty and risk from the purchasing decision."

Mr. Stack says that the interoperability of Lexington's communications system will help to save public and first responders lives.

"In the past, police and fire departments had to communicate by relaying messages via dispatch, which caused delays in information reaching our first responders in life-critical situations such as hazmat or armed offender events. Now, we have seamless point to point communications so we can make decisions and act quickly," says Stack.

The Tait portables and mobiles are providing Lexington's police officers with enhanced audio quality and noise reduction as well as encryption to ensure that police communications are secure.

Police Chief Ronnie Bastin says, "Our department has now entered the 21st century with this technology and we're extremely proud of our new communications system. Officers are finding it very user friendly and very efficient."

Tait is committed to developing open-standards-based solutions and works with partners around the world to demonstrate the interoperability of their solutions through certification programs such as Airbus DS Communications' Interoperability Testing Program (IOT).

Tait's VP Market Development & Solutions Engineering, Bill Fillman says, "Implementing a digital communications network based on open standards means public safety agencies can choose from a range of vendors to get the solution that best fits their needs for the long term. The Tait Smart Value Plan has provided Lexington with the added assurance that they'll be upgraded to the latest model of Tait radio in five to eight years' time."

Lexington-Fayette Urban County is a community of more than 300,000 people. Enhanced 9-1-1 handles 500,000 calls per year – including 200,000 emergency calls – across two sites. Bluegrass Airport services around 500,000 passengers each year.

For more information about this project please watch our Lexington-Fayette Urban County video case study.

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