Specifications Luncheon

In-Building Emergency Responder Radio Communications Systems

July 11, 2018
11:45 AM - 1:00 PM
Credit: 1.0 HSW
Dallas Center for Architecture
1909 Woodall Rodgers Fwy
Suite 100
Dallas, TX 75201

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On 9/11, over 200 firefighters died in the North World Trade Center Tower including many who were in the lobby and should have easily been able to escape if they’d known the South Tower had just collapsed and the same fate awaited the North Tower. What went wrong? The on-ground Command Center 2-way radios were not able to connect with the portable 2-way radios the fire fighters carried inside the building.  The outside radio signals did not get into the building.

As a result, the 9/11 Commission recommended that all commercial and governmental buildings be tested to ensure that First Responders (Fire, Police, EMS, SWAT) are able to maintain communications in an emergency situation. For the first time, in-building Emergency Responder Radio Communications (ERRC) is not considered an amenity but a code enforced requirement.  The International Fire Code (IFC) mandated that: “Emergency responder2-way radio coverage shall be provided in all new buildings in accordance with Section 510 of the International Fire Code.” Every jurisdiction in North Texas has adopted and accepted this life-safety imperative. 

In this session, attendees will learn:

  1. The Conflict between LEED Certs and Emergency Responder Radio Communications – The construction standards and building materials that enable buildings to reach the highest levels of LEED BD+C certification, create barriers for first responder radio signals.
  2. ICF and NFPA Codes for Emergency Radio Systems and Coverage – Every jurisdiction is unique but there are several standards every building owner and architect should know when it comes to Emergency Responder Radio systems and the consequences of not meeting code.
  3.  What to look for in an ERRC Integrator Partner – From turn-key providers to do-it-yourself product sellers, the range of solution providers is vast and can be confusing.  We’ll show you what to look for and what questions to ask of a prospective ERRC provider.
  4. The Future of Emergency Responder Radio Coverage: FirstNet – What is FirstNet and what impact will it have on building owners, architects, and designers?

PRESENTERS:  Raul Guerra and Scott Usvolk, IBT Connect

IBT Connect tests, designs, installs, and monitors in-building Public Safety systems and performs annual system checks as required by code.  IBT also installs in-building public cellular amplification systems that ensure tenants are able to reliably use their cell phones everywhere and anywhere in the building.

Scott Usvolk & Raul Guerra are accomplished Senior Executives and advocates for driving the adoption, enforcement, and compliance of in-building Public Safety systems and public cellular amplification systems for all carriers.  Their focus is on educating building owners, architects/designers, and commercial contractors on:

  • The evolution of Public Safety communications codes IFC & NFPA
  • Jurisdiction adoption and enforcement of Public Safety communications codes
  • What is Public Safety DAS and public cellular DAS?
  • In-building public cellular coverage—a life safety issue
  • Construction materials that block in-building RF signal coverage
  • Roles and responsibilities: building owner, architect, general contractor, jurisdiction authorities
  • Funding and ownership for an in-building RF signal amplification system