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State rolling out new interoperable radio network for first responders

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Work continues on a new radio system that will connect first responders across the state – as well as with surrounding states.

The system is called “SIRN” — Statewide Interoperable Radio Network.

"Instead of the disparate radio systems around the state, where everyone ran their own environments and different communities had their own systems, this is a statewide system that we're running as one large community across the state," said Craig Felchle of the North Dakota Information Technology Department.

Felchle said to this point, law enforcement and other first responders have had trouble talking to one another because of the different radio systems.

"So this is going to make things easier," Felchle said. "We can now talk, using 800 megahertz instead of the VHF frequencies. It brings a lot of new capabilities."

Felchle said the new radios are digital, and the clarity is a lot better.

"We're getting a lot of positive feedback from our public safety community members around that," Felchle said.

SIRN has been rolled out in the Williston, Grand Forks, Minot, Bismarck and Mandan areas. The more than $100 million project is scheduled to be completed in 2025.

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