When I was four or five years old I became interested in the world of electronics and how to put things together. I knew resistor color codes and capacitor color codes when other kids were learning basic colors. After getting an engineering degree in college, my love of making things work landed me a job in DuPage County, Illinois, working on Motorola Solutions infrastructure and equipment. Over the past 25 years, I have advanced to where I now oversee all public safety systems; design development, implementation and maintenance.
I’ve seen a lot of advances over the years. I remember the discrete components of the older Motorola HD portable radio series. They were great radios, but there was no ability to program anything. If something wasn’t right, you couldn’t easily change it. Compare that to today’s APX portable radios, which are software driven. You attach a computer to electronically add new features, update the radio and change user parameters. The software updates and alignments can quickly bring the radio to like new condition. We’re on our eighth year with the APX radios and most of them are just as good as day one.
Preventative Maintenance Ensures Reliability
I get my satisfaction from being able to see how well the radios perform. The Motorola radios are very durable, but with their preventative maintenance schedule, we can reassure the agencies the radios are always going to be ready for use.
Because we have a fleet of 3500 radios, it is virtually impossible for us to track, maintain, and upgrade radios by just conventionally plugging them into a computer. We have a system, Radio Manager, where we load in the radios’ information and then manage all changes.
Radio Manager Simplifies Radio Programming
Once the radios are loaded into Radio Manager, we can remotely perform code plug changes, channel alignments, and firmware and flash code updates. We also keep a history of each radio. It makes our life so much easier to know the status of each radio. Once we’ve done all the work remotely, we can then go out to one of our 62 agencies, hook a radio up to the computer, make any adjustments and put the radio back on the street quickly.
I think the ability to go out and do these alignments, and determine which radios need to be updated or repaired, has really benefited the agencies as well, because their radios are always in service, ready to support firefighters and police officers.
Motorola Solutions has a complete Device Management Services solution, from set up to radio commissioning, database hosting and software support; whatever an agency might need to make sure radios are ready to perform. To learn more about how we do preventative maintenance in DuPage County check out: Delivering Device Management Services to Public Safety Communications.
Keeping People Safe – That’s My Dream Job
What started as a little boy tinkering with electronics has turned into a lifelong dream job. But one of the things I didn’t consider when I was growing up was how I would feel about the work that I do. I know that I’m doing something that is serving the greater good. It’s something that people depend on, not only for the life safety of the firefighters, police, and EMS, but for the citizens of DuPage County.