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SIRN project continues to build out

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The roll-out of North Dakota’s new radio system – that will allow first responders to talk to each other – continues.

The system is called “SIRN” (siren) – for “State Interoperable Radio Network.”

"Say you have some sort of event that is crossing jurisdictions — maybe a police event," said North Dakota Information Technology Cloud and Infrastructure Director Craig Felchle. "Those groups can now talk to each other, seamlessly, as you would go from one jurisdiction to another."

The SIRN project has already been rolled out in the Williston, Minot, Grand Forks and Bismarck-Mandan areas.

"What that means is we have approximately 3500 radios on the system today, that the first responder community is using," Felchle said. "It's a major accomplishment."

Felchle says he's received a lot of positive feedback from the community.

"Clarity is much better," Felchle said. "The coverage is better in places where maybe, historically, there have been some challenges around coverage."

The project was to be completed in 2025. But Felchle said because of supply chain issues, it looks like it’s be 2026 before SIRN is complete.

"We used to be able to purchase a lot of equipment with a one-to-two month lead time," Felchle said. "Now, if we go out and purchase a generator, for example, the elad time is now tracking more like a year."

Felchle said the SIRN Project was possible because the state came together.

"We're trying to come together as a one big joint effort, to actually improve the lives of our citizens across the whole state," Felchle said. "I can't think of too many efforts where the whole state has come together in trying to accomplish something great like this."

The project has a $100 million to $150 million price tag.

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