AFRRCS is the province-wide first responder radio system designed to provide mission critical radio services to fire, medical, police and emergency response agencies in Alberta. The system is owned by the Government of Alberta (GOA) and managed by the Alberta Justice and Solicitor General (JSG).
However, all user groups - or agencies - are required to enter into a service agreement with the JSG/GOA in order to receive service on the network. The requirements and terms of reference are outlined in the AFRRCS AGENCY HANDBOOK
Being that this is a very large and complex communications system, a great deal of care has been taken to develop processes related to equipment specifications, standards of practice, qualification of vendor and support providers. The criticality of the network to first responders requires that all stakeholders involved in providing hardware, system maintenance/services, fleet mapping and design/engineering be highly qualified and capable of meeting the rigorous standards outlined by the AFRRCS Transition and AFRRCS Operating Teams.
The Technical Administrator is a mandatory position for any agency preparing to get onto the AFRRCS network. The Technical Administrator guides the agency in navigating the preparatory processes required to make application for connection to the network and acts as the agency lead in dealings with the GOA. This is a complex undertaking that requires the Technical Administrator to have an intimate understanding of the agency needs, the design and structure of the AFRRCS connectivity process and technology, and to understand the technical and administrative complexities associated with connecting to the AFRRCS system.
To qualify for the Technical Administrator role, a vendor needs to have completed the AFFRCS provided Technical Administrator course. This 2-day program is designed to ensure that potential Technical Administrators understand the basics of the program and expectations (the AFRRCS Operations Team can provide a list of qualified vendors).
There are, however, a couple of other factors that an agency looking to engage a Technical Administrator should consider:
Is the vendor experienced in the areas of mission critical two-way radio?
Do they have formal HARRIS P25 technology training?
Are they an approved vendor for one or more of the AFRRCS approved subscriber equipment suppliers? Motorola, HARRIS, Realm, Kenwood, etc.
Is the vendor capable of providing integrated services: from needs analysis and design through to engineering, service and emergency response? Does the vendor have in-house engineering and design capabilities? This is important when it comes to technical design, fleet mapping, system interoperability, etc. These are all critical to successful application for connection and eventual service connection.
Does the vendor have in-house installation, warranty + service and trouble response capability? Is the vendor COR certified and capable of delivering services safely?
Does the vendor have sufficient knowledge of the AFRRCS system configuration, function and related processes to be a value-added partner?
At WESTCAN, our AFRRCS support team is the best trained and most experienced group in Western Canada. We were recently selected as the exclusive provider of Preventative Maintenance and Break Fix services for the GOA AFRRCS system across Alberta. This same level of expertise, and real value, is available to agencies that are looking to making AFRRCS P25 part of their future.
Learn more about our Qualifications below: