HOSPITAL IN-BUILDING 700/800 MHZ PUBLIC SAFETY RADIO COMMUNICATIONS
Providing seamless in-building radio communications for public safety personnel as they respond to calls for service in office complexes, high-rise structures, hospitals, and other critical locations.
Many local jurisdictions have enacted or are considering enacting ordinances and codes that ensure a requisite level of public safety radio communications reliability in buildings and public spaces. Authorities such as the National Fire Protection Association and the International Code Council are working to develop national-level model codes to ensure reliable public safety radio communications are provided from the outside Radio Frequency (RF) network throughout building spaces.
As first responders within their communities, hospitals are recognizing the need for reliable wireless public safety communications as both a standard safety assurance and in the event the location becomes a staging location for responders during an emergency.
Deployment of solutions for reliable in-building coverage in a hospital must consider the environment, building parameters, and 24-hour operational needs while working around interference issues from technology such as ultrasound, X-Ray, CT Scanners, and other equipment.
M S Benbow & Associates (MSB) was selected as the telecom engineering firm to design and oversee the installation of a dedicated public safety radio communications system that provides public safety coverage throughout all areas of a four-story, 450-bed hospital, including elevators, stairwells, and units with sensitive equipment.
MSB was both the design and construction management contractor throughout the project and had turnkey responsibility for the RF site assessment, design of the in-building RF network, development of construction drawings, construction management, system commissioning, start-up, and acceptance testing.
MSB’s initial step was to conduct an RF site survey and walk-through of the hospital to determine where advanced coverage was needed and identify the appropriate solution set to ensure reliable, seamless service was provided similar to the outside RF network.
Once the site survey and audit were completed, the design was conducted. Project responsibilities included:
- Spectrum analysis and coordination
- System design and engineering
- Record and catalog site specifics
- Development of a detailed scope of work
MSB also supported the Facilities funding requirements by preparing an overview of the site conditions and a detailed scope of work, project budget, and investment justification.
Once funding was approved by the hospital administration and the local government administrators, MSB implemented the telecom engineering plan to ensure reliable RF public safety communication transmission for hospital security and first responders. The upgrade entailed the installation of a 700/800 MHz Narrowband amplifier with battery backup and Distributed Antenna System (DAS) inside the hospital with coaxial cabling to the exterior RF antenna.
The installation was implemented over a two-month period to accommodate the operation’s 24/7 schedule, coordinate with department downtime and adjust for hospital capacity. MSB also ensured the communication system met Federal Communications Commission OET-65 RF exposure standards.