Motorola pitches radios to safety officials

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Fire Chief Greg DeLor knows just the kind of radio he wants his department to have when the E-911 consolidation is complete.

The radio works underwater, can filter out sounds such as the roar of a fire engine, is more durable than their current two Way Radios, he said, dropping the demonstration model on the floor with a thud.

I would not be doing that with the radio I have now. It would be ruined, DeLor said.

DeLor was among the more than 100 first responders and officials from most of the 36 departments in Lake County who will come under the umbrella of the consolidated E-911 center who attended a demonstration Monday of radio equipment offered by Motorola Solutions.

Motorola was selected to provide the infrastructure for the state-mandated consolidation of the countys 17 dispatch centers into one center by Dec. 31. Its also one of three companies vying to sell its radios for police and fire departments, with the others being Harris and EF Johnson.

Under the consolidation, each city and town must supply and pay for the radios its emergency personnel use. Each municipality may choose its radios from the vendor of their choice, providing the radios can communicate with the Motorola infrastructure.

Frank Galvin, of Motorola Solutions, said the company decided to host the event at St. Elijah Church in Merrillville to give police and fire officials a chance to get a close look at the variety of radios available as well as accessories and programming options.

Jim Lilley, Merrillvilles deputy fire chief, said he liked the opportunity to see the equipment and ask questions.

It was a good demonstration. It was nice to actually see stuff used hands-on, Lilley said.

One demonstration showed how a radio that had part of its housing peeled off could still work while under water, even for an extended period of time. Another used a running Crown Point fire truck to show how the radio filters out background noise.

Galvin said the demonstration gives officials a chance to see whats available and how the radios can grow with their departments.

Everything doesnt have to happen today. There is so much technology that can be active as needed, he said.