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ARINC Wins Nation’s First Communications Contract Based on SAFECOM Guidelines from DHS

Annapolis, Maryland - Clallam County in northwest Washington state has awarded a groundbreaking contract to ARINC Incorporated for a county-wide interoperable communications solution. The contract award, for the Olympic Public Safety Communications Alliance Network (OPSCAN), is partially funded by a FEMA federal grant serving all the public safety agencies in the county.

It is the first project of its kind in the U.S., and the first ever to follow the guidelines for interoperability established by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s SAFECOM program. ARINC will deploy its AWINSSM interoperability technology to enable more than 40 separate police, fire, emergency medical, and government agencies to communicate with one another while retaining their existing radio systems.

The award is significant because AWINS is currently the only technology able to connect all types of radio, phone, data, and video communications as recommended by SAFECOM. The Clallam County deployment will point the way for five neighboring counties, as well as for thousands of other jurisdictions in the U.S. who are grappling with similar interoperability issues.

“ARINC’s proposal was the most responsive, and their technology has the flexibility we need,” stated Bob Schwent, Assistant Division Manager for Electronics Division of Washington State Patrol and Co-Chair of the OPSCAN Technical Committee. Sheriff Joe Martin, OPSCAN Project Director, added, “In Clallam County, public safety agencies must cover not only the towns and roads, but 150 miles of coastline, part of Olympic National Park, the Canadian border, two marine ferries, and several Native American Nations. We need the most flexible solution to ensure everybody can communicate.”

“ARINC is honored to receive this groundbreaking award from Clallam County,” stated Marvin L. Ingram, Senior Director, ARINC Public & Enterprise Solutions. “By taking the broad view of public safety communications—not just radio, but data systems and video as recommended by SAFECOM—Clallam County is ensuring its citizens will benefit from the best possible coordination among public safety agencies.”

The award to ARINC is a critical step for the OPSCAN project, which envisions this seamless communications network across the county as a model for the 6-county Olympic Peninsula region. OPSCAN, organized in 2001, includes 42 public safety agencies and other entities. One OPSCAN goal is to migrate current analog systems to a narrow-band digital network, capable of upgrading to the modern P-25 standard. OPSCAN long-term goals include adding Mobile Data capability as well.

ARINC has already started field work for the project’s first stage, a turnkey Voice-over-IP (VoIP) solution, at the county seat of Port Angeles. By August 2005, OPSCAN participating agencies will have the ability to communicate with each other easily, using their existing radio equipment and communications infrastructures.

ARINC Incorporated is the world leader in transportation communications and systems engineering. The company develops and operates communications and information processing systems and provides systems engineering and integration solutions to five key industries: airports, aviation, defense, government, and surface transportation. Founded to provide reliable and efficient radio communications for the airlines, ARINC is headquartered in Annapolis, Maryland, and operates key regional offices in London and Singapore, with over 3,000 employees worldwide. ARINC is ISO 9001:2000 Certified.

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