First responders navigate high pressure and challenging situations every day, and it is imperative that their communications devices are not only reliable and intuitive, but also provide valuable real-time information. After more than two years of extensive field testing, market research and piloting by Miami-Dade Fire Rescue and Miami-Dade Police Department, Miami-Dade County has awarded Motorola Solutions a deal worth $165 million over 10 years for its top-of-the-line APX NEXT™ radios.
“This is a life safety product,” said Alfredo “Freddy” Ramirez III, director, Miami-Dade Police Department and chief of safety and emergency response, Miami-Dade Police Department and Miami-Dade Fire Rescue. “Our end-users here in fire and police have done extensive studies on this product. There is no other one like it. It has great capabilities that are not seen in the market that will enhance not only officer safety, but our ability to service the community in a more strategic and safer way. This product with Motorola is a next-generation type of communication device that the first responders of Miami-Dade County deserve.”
The contract includes APX NEXT radios for the Miami-Dade Police Department and APX NEXT XE radios, which are purpose-built to meet the demands of firefighters, for Miami-Dade Fire Rescue. It also includes six new radio sites to increase coverage for the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue communications system, which Motorola Solutions will support through maintenance and improvements.
APX NEXT radios, along with radios from multiple vendors, went through rigorous testing against stringent criteria with Miami-Dade Fire Rescue and Miami-Dade Police Department ahead of the contract signing. This included confirming compatibility with the county-wide radio system and other nearby regional radio systems, as well as testing LTE broadband in coverage gap areas and demonstrating the durability of the devices through training exercises.
“The new radios have new technology, such as personnel level tracking with GPS over LTE, and text and picture messaging,” said another public safety official involved with the testing of the new radios. “They include agency interoperability that we don’t have today, where we can quickly bring channels together. They also include additional coverage expansion, so these radios have capability from us to communicate outside the county, outside of our traditional radio systems. They have computer-aided dispatch (CAD) messaging — bi-directional CAD messaging — so it will significantly decrease the amount of time for units to receive information from the CAD system.”
Miami-Dade joins a growing list of agencies who are now using APX NEXT for public safety communications in the state of Florida and across the country. The deployment of radios and additional communications equipment is currently underway, with a full radio replacement and system refresh expected to span the next year.