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​New Zealand Fire Service gets state of the art radios

​New Zealand Fire Service gets state of the art radios

New solution from Motorola and Spark embeds radio microphone within firefighters’ breathing apparatus

Communication is critical to safety on the incident ground, and much of that communication comes from the use of incident ground control (IGC) radio

Paul Baxter, NZ Fire Service

Firefighters serving with New Zealand Fire Service will benefit from improved safety and communication while working in fire grounds through an innovative two-way radio solution.

The new solution from Motorola Solutions and Spark will enable the service’s 10,000 career and volunteer firefighters to stay connected to their colleagues in the field via reliable and robust voice communication.

The organisation will receive more than 4,500 new radios designed for use in the most severe fire ground environments.

The New Zealand Fire Service attended around 73,000 incidents in the past year alone.

The radios are part of a five-year contract, which also provides access provisions for related government agencies wanting to take advantage of the new radio technology.

A key feature of the solution is a remote speaker microphone that will be fully integrated within firefighters’ breathing apparatus. This will be combined with the radio’s convenient push-to-talk button, which enables firefighters to communicate easily and safely in the harshest conditions.

“Communication is critical to safety on the incident ground, and much of that communication comes from the use of incident ground control (IGC) radio. That’s why we were so exacting in our requirements for these new radios,” says Paul Baxter, chief executive and national commander of the New Zealand Fire Service, in a statement,

We wanted a solution that is safe, easy to use and doesn’t distract firefighters from their work during critical incidents

Murray Mitchell, NZ Fire Service

“The radios will help us to resolve radio interface issues with firefighters’ breathing apparatus while also delivering improved noise cancellation and battery life.”

“We wanted a solution that is safe, easy to use and doesn’t distract firefighters from their work during critical incidents,” says Murray Mitchell, Murray Mitchell, Director ICT for the New Zealand Fire Service. “The design features incorporated in these new radios will help our firefighters work more safely and efficiently.”

By using a combination of single and multi-band radios operating across both VHF and UHF bands, the solution aligns with the fire service’s vision of leading integrated fire and emergency services for a safer New Zealand.

“This radio solution enables us to move away from using a mix of models and frequencies and toward a nationally consistent standard that will make it easier to work with our emergency service partners,” says Baxter.

Spark will provide in-country support including service management and a customer support desk.

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