Despite the work of numerous organizations (most notably the Safer Buildings Coalition, www.saferbuildings.org) the process for the installation of an Emergency Responder Radio Communication System (ERRCS) varies too much by jurisdiction (in our humble opinion). We’ve suggested many times in this blog the necessity to immediately identify the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ), usually the Fire Marshal, to determine the relevant codes applicable to an ERRCS installation for a building.
Why You Need to Identity the FCC License Holder
We haven’t highlighted the need to identify the FCC License holder for that area, because most AHJs will loop this organization into the process. As the Safer Building Coalition suggested in 2019 in discussing ERRCS Best Practices: “The AHJ should identify the FCC License Holder (frequently the jurisdiction’s radio operations department) and provide their contact information to Building Owners and their Contractors to ensure compliance to FCC rules.”
Choose an Integrator with Experience
Unfortunately, our experience suggests that the “Best Practices” around AHJ/FCC License Holder interaction happens 75% of the time (our definition of “most), leaving a nettlesome number of projects that involve the time-consuming task of identifying and coordinating multiple parties to get clear guidance and sign-off.
There are many ERRCS system integrators who safeguard these contacts, selling customers on their access to the relevant parties as a way to streamline time and costs. Certainly, experience matters and customers would be wise to choose an integrator whose done it before. However, the industry needs to embrace transparency and standard processes if it’s to keep ERRCS’s cost down, making it less burdensome on customers. Those of us in the industry believe in the necessity of ERRCS to fulfill the promise of “Safer Buildings”; ensuring its ubiquity, however, is contingent on standards and processes that lower costs.
If you’re in need of an ERRCS or would like to discuss a project, please reach out to us.