CHALLENGE
On August 13, 2018 at the Iowa State Fair, the ceremonial first call was made on the new Iowa Statewide Interoperable Communications System (ISICS) by Governor Kim Reynolds.
 
She celebrated the results of a three-year effort to build the first statewide system that allows first responders and partnering agencies, including hospitals and schools throughout various counties and districts, to communicate seamlessly day-to-day and during emergencies. Environmental factors like tornados in the midwestern state reaffirmed the importance of a clear communications system that can withstand extreme weather conditions and potential disruptions.

SOLUTION
The result was an on-time and on-budget implementation of Motorola Solutions' ASTRO 25 network across the state with additional site maintenance and software upgrades for the next 10 years. Ninety-three towers make up the network, which provides the state with 95 percent mobile coverage. Radios, including the APX 8000XE, APX 900 and various mobile radios, are all compatible with the network. The system is also encrypted, which means only radios with the encryption can access the network and there are no additional fees for a county or district to join.

OUTCOMES
Now, state agencies, local county sheriffs, emergency management departments, schools and hospitals across the state have the power of interoperable communications between from anywhere across the state.

“We built ISICS to help keep all Iowans safe,” said Governor Reynolds. “No matter where an emergency happens, first responders and partnering agencies using the Motorola Solutions system can communicate with each other seamlessly to coordinate a response and help those who need their assistance.”

When nature strikes, first responders are equipped to respond.

“The recent tornados that have swept through the central and south- central portions of the state reaffirm the importance of a strong communication network in our decision to join ISICS,” said Brian Hamman, Montgomery County Emergency Management Coordinator. “By opting into ISICS, we’ll be using a radio system that is built with multiple levels of physical redundancies to minimize disruptions, which ultimately ensures better outcomes for our citizens and first responders.

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