*** The FCC mandate to convert certain radio equipment to Narrowband Operation is rapidly approaching. The Maryland Emergency Medical Service (EMS) communications system is affected by this mandate. All EMS UHF communications equipment – portables, mobiles, and base stations – must be converted to narrowband operation by the January, 1, 2013. Counties/companies operating non-narrowband compliant equipment after January 1, 2013 will be in violation of FCC regulations and subject to FCC penalties***
For the past several years, MIEMSS has been working to modify the statewide EMS communications system to ensure compliance with FCC mandates for public safety systems to migrate to narrowband technology. Replacement of Maryland’s non-narrowband-capable infrastructure to accommodate the mandate has been completed and all MIEMSS Regions switched to narrowband operations.
The Radio Grant Program, which was used to fund the replacement of non-narrowband-capable mobile and portable radios for jurisdictional EMS Operating Programs, closed June 30, 2012. However, if you still need narrowband-capable equipment, please contact your MIEMSS Regional Administrator about your needs and to discuss your options. See details below for how you may be able to replace non–narrowband-capable equipment with compliant equipment. As noted above, any jurisdiction/company/agency operating non-narrowband equipment after January 1, 2013, is subject to FCC sanction.
Narrowbanding Plan (Follow-up)
MIEMSS began migrating to narrowband operations on April 4, 2012. On November 16, 2012 MIEMSS Communications Engineering Services completed the statewide transition to narrowband operations. MIEMSS thanks all those in the state who supported this effort! Below is a timeline summarizing when each MIEMSS Region was transitioned to narrowband operation.
Note: Once an EMSOP is moved over to narrowband mode, units operating non-narrowband capable radios will disrupt EMS radio communications. Counties/companies operating non- narrowband compliant equipment after January 1, 2013 will be in violation of FCC regulations and subject to FCC penalties.
Acquiring Compliant Radio Equipment
The guidelines below are for counties or individual companies that still need narrowband-capable equipment. Although the original Radio Grant Program closed in June 2012, you may still be eligible for radio equipment. If you have already spoken with your Regional Administrator, and have been asked to submit a radio request, please read below for further information. If you have not been given prior approval from your Regional Administrator to request narrowband-capable equipment from MIEMSS, please contact that Administrator to discuss your options.
If replacement narrowband-capable equipment is available from MIEMSS, this will be offered first. If funds become available for reimbursement, the same provisions from the Radio Grant Program will apply:
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