The Cayman Islands is scheduled to take delivery this week of a new communication system for future disaster-related emergencies.

The government signed an agreement with Motorola Solutions Systems on Dec. 14 last year, with the goal of providing Cayman with the most modern public safety radio system in the region.

A local delegation of government leaders recently tried out some of the new devices provided by Motorola Solutions.

A team of engineers from Motorola recently visited Cayman in preparation for the installation phase of the project. The engineers inspected all the existing and new radio sites for the system. Three new sites – in West Bay, Frank Sound and Cayman Brac West – were inspected for clear microwave paths, tower conditions, grounding, equipment location and backup power.

Existing sites – at Gun Bay, Northward, Radio Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman – were also inspected to make sure they were suitable for the new technology.

“The Department of Public Safety Communications was also inspected for networking and space availability for the new radio consoles, as well as 911 and radio logging equipment,” Acting Director for Hazard Management Cayman Islands Lee Madison said. “A visit to the Government Administration Building’s data center, Hazard Management Cayman Islands’ office and command center was also conducted to check resources for the new system’s core.”

Director for the Department of Public Safety Communications Julian Lewis said, “The new communications system will have several near-term operational enhancements, which will immediately improve [the Department of Public Safety Communications’] service delivery.”

He added that the system would also improve portable radio coverage inside buildings, on roadways and in high-incident areas.

“In addition, it will enhance network capacity to support private group communications paths for different public safety partners and functions, automate various network functions to simplify dispatcher and field user operations, and support enhanced features such as end-to-end encryption and GPS location services, all of which will result in safer communities,” he said.

Three government officials – Mr. Madison, Mr. Lewis and Ministry of Home Affairs Deputy Chief Officer Kathryn Dinspel-Powell – traveled to the Motorola facility in Elgin, Illinois in the United States, to participate in the testing of the new system.

“Government remains committed to delivering the highest standard of public safety to the people of the Cayman Islands, as evidenced in our investment in this state-of-the-art technology,” said Minister of Home Affairs Tara Rivers.

“The system upgrade will integrate all public safety radio users on a common platform to enable greater interoperability and inter-agency collaboration. It will also maximize mobile radio coverage throughout the islands to provide a baseline means of communications for all first responders.”

Final testing will be conducted on the new system in October.

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