Design

The buildings comprising the public safety communications center (PSCC) have not been designed yet. South Sound 911 issued a request for qualifications (RFQ) in June 2017 for an architectural and engineering team to work on the PSCC design. From that competitive process, the CallisonRTKL was awarded a contract to perform programming and pre-design architectural and engineering services for the PSCC.

Standards


South Sound 911's public safety communications center will include two buildings. One building, approximately 55,000 sq. ft. in size, will house 911 and dispatch operations, as well as a municipal emergency operations center (EOC). It will be constructed to meet National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), National Emergency Number Association (NENA), and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) standards for public safety communications centers. 

The second building, approximately 25,000 sq. ft. in size, will house administrative offices and a public counter. The administrative building will be constructed to meet general office building standards. This two-building approach keeps costs lower than constructing a single, larger building built to meet the stringent national standards noted above.
Photo of blueprints

Components


While not an exhaustive list, the public safety communications center will include:

  • An operations building for 911 and dispatch operations, and an emergency operations center (EOC)
  • An administrative building with a lobby and public counter for services such as fingerprinting, concealed pistol license application processing and other services
  • Equipment for radio communications
  • Generators and water and fuel tanks for emergency operations
  • Secure employee parking
  • Visitor parking

Will the radio tower be safe?

 
Yes, per Federal Communications Commission (FCC) guidelines. Radio-frequency (RF) safety limits were adopted by the FCC in 1996 based on the recommendations of expert organizations and endorsed by agencies of the federal government responsible for health and safety. New radio communication towers that are registered with the FCC have to demonstrate that they are compliant per the guidelines found in FCC OET 65 and OET bulletin 56 on maximum permissible exposure (MPE). 

For more information, please visit the FCC's online radio frequency safety information or frequently asked questions. 
  
It is important to remember that the specific, geographical location of South Sound 911's public safety communications center, as well as the surrounding conditions, are an important factor as to how the agency transmits and receives its radio communications.
Communications Center Tower