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Police Communications Interoperability Press Release

January 31, 2006

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Houston-Galveston Area Council Awards Radio Interoperability Contract for use by its 1,600 Cooperative Purchasing Members

“Incident Commanders’ Radio Interface” equipment available to 1st Responders through Program"

Houston, TX – The Houston-Galveston Area Council, (HGAC), which provides state and local agencies across the country with procurement services has awarded contract to the “Incident Commanders’ Radio InterfaceTM” (“ICRI”), a device that allows fire, police and other first-responders to talk with each other despite using incompatible communications equipment. The ICRI will be available to H-GAC’s 1,600 Cooperative Purchasing Program members.

The ICRI solves one of the most pressing issues for public safety and homeland security agencies; the need for first-responders from multiple agencies to communicate at an emergency incident when using different radio equipment, operating on dissimilar frequencies and channels.

The ICRI provides cross-band, cross-platform interoperability, linking all commercial trunking and conventional radios, military radios, satellite, direct-connect and cell phones, and land-line telephones. Self-powered for up to 30 hours on 8 ‘AA’ batteries, the ICRI can be set up to operate in less than five minutes without specialized personnel or training – key requirements for smaller fire and police departments without dedicated communications or technical personnel.

Local jurisdictions without the resources to thoroughly research and conduct a competitive proposal process can use the H-GAC Cooperative Purchasing program, which has “interlocal” purchasing agreements with nearly all states. H-GAC specializes in identifying appropriate technical equipment, performing pre-proposal conferences, preparing specifications, and evaluating vendor responses. H-GAC, which offers free membership, can also assist with navigating government grant programs.

29 other agencies throughout Texas currently use the ICRI – from D/FW Airport Fire to Mission Police Department – having purchased a complete ICRI radio interoperability package for under $10,000. The Houston Police Department, serving the nation’s 4th largest metropolitan area, uses multiple ICRIs.

Two ICRI configurations are available through the cooperative program; a 10-port, two-talk group rack-mountable version for fixed or mobile, SUV-type command centers, allowing up to 10 different communications devices to be interconnected; and a five-port, 2-talk group version, weighing just 3.5 lbs. and measuring 10” x 3” x 7”, for portable and mobile use.

More details on the purchasing program and the purchase of the ICRI can be found through the “products available” link at: www.HGACBuy.com

Agencies throughout Texas using the ICRI include: the cities of:
Houston, Abilene, College Station, Garland; Counties of Abilene, Callahan, Coleman, Comanche, Eastland, Haskell, Jones, Kent, Knox, Mitchell, Nolan, Runneis, Scurry, Shackelford, Stephens, Stonewall, Taylor, Throckmorton, McAllen, Mission, North Richland Hills, and Saginaw. Dallas-Fort Worth Airport, Lackland Air Force Base, and Southwest Texas Regional Advisory Council (STRAC).

About The Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC) Cooperative Purchasing Program:
The H-GAC Cooperative Purchasing Program has been serving local governments for more than 30 years-beginning in 1973. From coast-to-coast, Program participants include 1,600+ local governments, state agencies, and qualifying non-profit corporations.

The program was established pursuant to the Texas’ “Interlocal Cooperation Act” that allows governmental and qualifying non-profit entities to purchase of high ticket, capital-intensive products and services that require technical, detailed specifications to evaluate bid and proposal responses No product or service is offered by H-GAC that has not been subjected to either a competitive bid or competitive proposal process. Call 1-800-926-0234 for more information.