Sarpy County is joining the Omaha Regional Interoperability Network (ORION), which operates the Land Mobile Radio (LMR) system for the Omaha Public Power District and Douglas, Washington and Pottawattamie Counties, including emergency communications for the cities of Omaha and Council Bluffs. Sarpy will contribute its radio core and the two systems will be joined by implementing Dynamic System Resilience (DSR).
DSR ensures uninterrupted radio coverage in the event of a prolonged power outage, equipment failure or physical damage to a primary radio core. DSR enables the system to switch automatically to a backup core to assure radio availability, reliability and network management.
Sarpy has been in talks with ORION since March 2018 and accepted Sarpy’s membership request in November. The Sarpy County Board of Commissioners and the governing boards of the ORION membership approved the agreement at their respective meetings this week.
“Joining ORION is an important step for Sarpy County. It adds a layer of redundancy to our emergency communications systems and allows us to develop close partnerships across the region that benefit our first responders,” said Sarpy County Emergency Communications Director William Muldoon.
Currently, both ORION and Sarpy County own and operate their own radio systems, which support critical communications for each agency. The project to merge the two systems is expected to take 12 to 15 months. The new system will allow emergency dispatchers and first responders from different agencies to communicate with one another more effectively through a single radio system. The merger will also decrease costs for individual agencies, as they no longer have to support separate systems.
The system is being built with future expansion in mind.