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New High-Rise Radio System Will Help First Responders in New York

New High-Rise Radio System Will Help First Responders in New York

This and all stories on this site are copyright Radio World.

Building managers at 4 Times Square and several other New York high-rise buildings owned by the Durst Organization are showing off a new radio transmission system intended to help assist firefighters, police and other rescuers who respond to emergencies.
The first building in which the system is operational is the Condé Nast Building or 4 Times Square, which is also home to several radio and TV broadcast tenants. John Lyons, Durst’s assistant vice president/director of broadcast communications and a former broadcast engineer, was instrumental in developing the radio system.
It will facilitate two-way radio communications from outside and inside all parts of some of the city’s biggest office towers, notably including sub-basements and uppermost floors, Durst officials said. By summer the system will be operational in eight high-rises. A ninth, the Bank of America Tower at One Bryant Park, will be completed in 2008.
At the unveiling during a press conference Wednesday, keys to the system were presented to the New York City Fire Department.
The system enhances coverage for fire and police departments and the Emergency Medical Service on their existing radio networks. “In addition to enabling first responders to engage in two-way communications from all upper floors, interior stairwells, elevators and building exits, the new system will allow rescue teams operating inside the buildings to transmit requests for additional assistance to dispatchers who may be situated at a distance from the actual scene of the emergency,” Durst stated.
Among those attending the press conference were James Boyle, a retired firefighter and former president of the Uniformed Firefighters Association whose son was killed while responding to the 9-11 attacks on the Twin Towers.
Other buildings that will be equipped include 1133 and 1155 Avenue of the Americas; 114 West 47th Street; 205 East 42d Street; 655 Third Avenue, 675 Third Avenue; and 733 Third Avenue.
Additional features planned, Lyons said, include house repeaters that enable fire officials to activate their own tactical frequencies at a specific emergency site that is equipped with a repeater system. This will give fire officials an added layer of communication, enabling the commander at the scene to speak with fire personnel in every corner of the building.
Also planned are combiners and multicouplers that will permit multiple frequencies to operate simultaneously without interfering with each other; bi-directional amplifiers to enable EMS to communicate to outside dispatchers even from sub-basements; off-premise redundant radio repeaters; and other innovations.