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City of Green Bay Opts for More Rugged Communications Equipment
Many cities and counties are faced with the daunting task of keeping their municipal services running during extreme weather conditions. From severe storms to record-breaking temperatures, climate can affect any city division including police, fire, public works, utilities, transportation, and the parks department.
A few years ago the City of Green Bay, Wisconsin experienced an unprecedented heat wave. At the same time, their two-way radio communications equipment began to fail in the Parking Division. This was not the first time they had experienced this problem. During the previous winter months when the temps dropped below zero, the equipment would not function outdoors. Through troubleshooting, they soon determined that the portable radio accessory product they were using was temperature sensitive.
Randall Frailing, Communications and Electronics Technician/Supervisor, is responsible for specifying, installation and maintenance of all two-way radio equipment, and other electronic equipment for the City of Green Bay. “The portable radio accessory equipment that was used for the Parking Division, which is a division of the Public Works Department in Green Bay, was having increased troubles with their portable radios used by the Parking Division,” he said. “We were having a high failure rate, and even so far as having multiple failures at the same time.”
This prompted Frailing to begin researching solutions. He attended technical conferences in search of a product that would withstand harsh external exposure. Green Bay Parking Enforcement Attendants are out on the street on a day-to-day basis using portable radios and speaker microphones, both of which are exposed to the elements. The speaker microphones turned out to be the weakest link—until Frailing found the Pryme Speaker Microphone.
“I came across the Pryme line of portable radio accessories at one of the technical seminars that I frequently attend and had also read about their products in trade magazines—so I decided to test them,” said Frailing. “This past summer was unusually hot and humid, and the winter had temperatures that had dropped to ten or fifteen below zero. So there was a severe swing in temperatures, yet we’ve had no problems with the Pryme speaker microphones working within those temperature ranges.”
The Parking Division’s portable radios are used for maintaining and enforcing parking areas around the city. The Parking Division patrols the local college as well as the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay campus. They also manage the downtown area parking. Enforcement Attendants in each area must be able to communicate among themselves, as well as with the Parking Office and Police Headquarters. They may be checking on a particular license plate number, verifying whether a parking space is on a monthly charge, or monitoring illegal parking around school zones. The parking Enforcement Officers also communicate with the maintenance department. The maintenance department takes care of the physical upkeep of the parking meters as well as the actual parking lots in the City of Green Bay. Additionally, the Parking Division communicates with the public safety agencies if they need assistance in an emergency situation.
During the Green Bay Packers season, there is a major increase in traffic and in difficult parking situations, especially when there are home games on a Monday or Thursday night. A large number of people come in to the city for the Packers games and it is imperative that radio communications are working well.
Frailing said, “With Pryme, we have had no issues with failures during this increased tempo of activity around the city no matter what the weather is like. And the Pryme Speaker Microphones continue to sound very good. I monitor the frequency at the radio shop and from home. I listen in and make sure everything is working fine…and it is.”
- Corporate News/9-1-1magazine.com (via Pryme, 1/7/13)