System integrators in the Emergency Responder Radio Communications System (ERRCS) business have typically been required by the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) to have two credentials to design systems: 1) a valid FCC–issued General Radio Operator License (GROL); and 2) a certification on in-building system design from a nationally recognized organization such as APCO or NICET or one from the manufacturer of the equipment being installed. Many businesses and professionals are required to meet certain licensing standards. You must be licensed in your state to be an electrician or general contractor. Similarly, you probably want your surgeon to be licensed by the appropriate medical board before he operates.
City of Phoenix Requirements
But we’re starting to see requirements for ERRCS system designers that seem to go beyond these two credentials. Some examples: From the City of Phoenix “Explanatory Policy – Emergency Responder Radio Coverage Fire Department”. “Prior to issuance of the building Certificate of Occupancy, a Certificate of Radio Coverage Compliance shall be submitted to the fire code official. On a case-by-case basis, a temporary Certificate of Occupancy may be issued. The Certificate of Radio Coverage Compliance shall be signed and sealed by a Professional Engineer licensed in the State of Arizona, and knowledgeable in ERCCS. A temporary Certificate of Occupancy may be issued on a case-by-case basis.” So, if you’re a California integrator who wants to design a system in Phoenix, you will need to find a PE licensed in Arizona who knows ERRCS. This insertion of a PE into the design process essentially adds a third qualification.
San Mateo County Requirements
Not to be outdone, San Mateo County in California requires that:
- On new systems designed for existing structures as well as new structures; a Professional Engineer (P.E.) licensed in the State of California shall approve by affixing their P.E. seal to the design documents
So, if you are an Arizona integrator who wants to design a system in San Mateo, you will need to find a PE licensed in California (the code, unlike Phoenix, doesn’t mandate that he be knowledgeable in ERRCS). Unfortunately, this is just a small sampling of the challenge. Our website has 25 or so California ERRCS requirements documents (and another 20 from other states) https://in-buildingwireless.com/errcs-documents/.
Lack of Consistency Issue
The varying design requirements are compounded by different applicable codes, installation, and test processes. The system integrator and customer need to understand each of these to successfully design and install an ERRCS. The insertion of a PE into the design requirements is just one example of the uniqueness of each project. This lack of consistent ERRCS integrator requirements raises risk and costs. It may benefit local integrators, but it doesn’t benefit the non-local integrator or the buyers of ERRCS who have fewer suppliers to choose from.
AHJs should keep ERRCS system integrator requirements to a minimum level that provides for competent and appropriately skilled companies. Inserting requirements that reference specific organizations or credentials lowers the qualified suppliers of ERRCS and reduces customer options.
Get in touch with us today to learn more about the Integrator requirements in your area. We would love to answer any questions you might have.