The West Virginia EMS Coalition conducted a survey of EMS organizations in the state to understand their concerns regarding communication systems. The survey revealed that nearly 50% of agencies are worried that the Statewide Interoperable Radio Network (SIRN) would not meet their communication needs. SIRN relies on numerous radio towers situated across the state to function, while push-to-talk (PTT) applications require data coverage from cellular providers. Over 80% of responding agencies reported having SIRN-capable mobile radios in their ambulances, while just over 60% said their ambulances have SIRN-capable portable radios.
The survey also found that more than two-thirds of EMS agencies believe that cellular coverage in their area would not support PTT applications. Furthermore, a regional breakdown of the data showed that counties in the north-central and eastern panhandle areas of the state have a high deployment rate of SIRN-capable radios.
Overall, the survey indicates that EMS agencies in West Virginia are primarily concerned about the effectiveness of communication systems such as SIRN and cellular coverage for PTT applications.
Data released via the West Virginia EMS Coalition’s email newsletter.