Originally Posted by RobertsRadio
The truth of the matter is most cities and counties do not have "experts" on staff who truly know two-way radio technology the way they should to make an unbiased recommendation on the proper course their particular agency should take in a project this size. If you were to poll the cities throughout the metro Atlanta area, and even across the entire State of Georgia, you will find the majority have a ranking public safety official, such as a fire lieutenant or police captain, making the recommendations/decisions on radio purchases and maintenance along with the many other duties they perform, such as managing a fire station and it's personnel or a shift in the uniform patrol division. With this being the case, the majority of these "experts" don't have the time to truly dive into the technological data provided by the multilple two-way radio vendors or test the various brands and models to make the decision that is best for the agency both operationally and economically. The end result is they take the short cut and stay with the brand they have been using for years by using the State Contract as the easy way out, when in fact two or more vendors have been known to beat their own State Contract Pricing when put into a competative bid situation. Most cities and counties don't know this because they rely strictly on sole sourcing a multi-million dollar project and never even consider the Request For Proposal or competative bid process because they do not want to spend the time reviewing and researching the information the vendors submit. What a shame....
Very true, there a few independent non-paid consultants, my non-profit is one of them that assists government and other non-profits in finding communications solutions. Since we are a non-profit, we don't have a "dog in the fight" and are vendor impartial, our only interest is that of any taxpayer: to get the most for OUR tax money, because in the end: WE ALL PAY for the mistakes these officials make.
If the citizens do not hold their government accountable, than we get what we deserve. While I can buy that in many rural areas and outlying cities, there aren't paid staff who specialize in such systems, but we are talking about the 5 most affluent cities in the metro area, and at least 3 of them have paid staff who are SUPPOSED to know this stuff.
IMO one of the qualifications of any 911 director or radio systems person, at minimum, should be a technician class amateur radio license. Idealy, a GROL. They should be able to demonstrate a basic working knowledge of LMR, how repeaters work, should be able to tune a duplexer, perform basic RF interference troubleshooting, understand RF propagation, etc.
Is what I am asking alot? You betcha. But when we PAY people to do a job that requires them to manage these vital resources, isn't it prudent they have a pretty good knowledge of how the stuff works? too often it's just plain LAZINESS and ineptness that takes over. so much easier to make a phone call and make it someone else's problem, and let someone else pay for it.
Nowadays, this person also should have an IT background and be able to login to a router, perform traceroutes, etc. The buck stops at the people who are paid to make stuff work and keep it that way. Valuable employees who do gain the training and knowledge prove their weight in gold when it comes "crunch time", which depending on how far over the fiscal cliff we go, could mean the difference between keeping employement and even advancing, and being on the unemployment line.