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Houston-Galveston Area Council Awards Radio Interoperability Contract for Use by Its 1,600 Cooperative Purchasing Members; ''Incident Commanders' Radio Interface'' Equipment available to 1st Responders through Program.

HOUSTON -- The Houston-Galveston Area Council, (HGAC), which provides state and local agencies across the country with procurement services has awarded contract to the "Incident Commanders' Radio Interface(TM)" ("ICRI"), a device that allows fire, police and other first-responders to talk with each other despite using incompatible communications equipment. The ICRI will be available to H-GAC's 1,600 Cooperative Purchasing Program members.

The ICRI solves one of the most pressing issues for public safety and homeland security agencies; the need for first-responders from multiple agencies to communicate at an emergency incident when using different radio equipment, operating on dissimilar frequencies and channels.

The ICRI provides cross-band, cross-platform interoperability, linking all commercial trunking and conventional radios, military radios, satellite, direct-connect and cell phones, and land-line telephones. Self-powered for up to 30 hours on 8 'AA' batteries, the ICRI can be set up to operate in less than five minutes without specialized personnel or training - key requirements for smaller fire and police departments without dedicated communications or technical personnel.

Local jurisdictions without the resources to thoroughly research and conduct a competitive proposal process can use the H-GAC Cooperative Purchasing program, which has "interlocal" purchasing agreements with nearly all states. H-GAC specializes in identifying appropriate technical equipment, performing pre-proposal conferences, preparing specifications, and evaluating vendor responses. H-GAC, which offers free membership, can also assist with navigating government grant programs.

29 other agencies throughout Texas currently use the ICRI - from D/FW Airport Fire to Mission Police Department - having purchased a complete ICRI radio interoperability package for under $10,000. The Houston Police Department, serving the nation's 4th largest metropolitan area, uses multiple ICRIs.

Two ICRI configurations are available through the cooperative program; a 10-port, two-talk group rack-mountable version for fixed or mobile, SUV-type command centers, allowing up to 10 different communications devices to be interconnected; and a five-port, 2-talk group version, weighing just 3.5 lbs. and measuring 10" x 3" x 7", for portable and mobile use.

More details on the purchasing program and the purchase of the ICRI can be found through the "products available" link at: www.HGACBuy.com

Agencies throughout Texas using the ICRI include the cities of: Houston, Abilene, College Station, Garland; Counties of Abilene, Callahan, Coleman, Comanche, Eastland, Haskell, Jones, Kent, Knox, Mitchell, Nolan, Runneis, Scurry, Shackelford, Stephens, Stonewall, Taylor, Throckmorton, McAllen, Mission, North Richland Hills, and Saginaw. Dallas-Fort Worth Airport, Lackland Air Force Base, and Southwest Texas Regional Advisory Council (STRAC).

About The Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC) Cooperative Purchasing Program:

The H-GAC Cooperative Purchasing Program has been serving local governments for more than 30 years-beginning in 1973. From coast-to-coast, Program participants include 1,600+ local governments, state agencies, and qualifying non-profit corporations.

The program was established pursuant to the Texas' "Interlocal Cooperation Act" that allows governmental and qualifying non-profit entities to purchase of high ticket, capital-intensive products and services that require technical, detailed specifications to evaluate bid and proposal responses No product or service is offered by H-GAC that has not been subjected to either a competitive bid or competitive proposal process. Call 1-800-926-0234 for more information.

About Communications-Applied Technology (C-AT):

Based in Reston, Virginia, C-AT is a veteran-owned, small business that designs and manufactures the ICRI, radios, and intercoms for military, public safety, and commercial organizations.

The Force Protection Battlelab at Lackland Air Force Base tested the ICRI to prove the concept of seamless interoperability among radio systems operating on different frequencies and bands, citing the ICRI in its Emergency Response Communications Interoperability Report, as an "effective, low cost piece of equipment that allows a rapid communication link between military, state and local first responders." It recommended the ICRI be placed in Security Police Standards and Procedures and on the table of allowance for all first responder personnel.

Numerous ICRIs were used agencies throughout the region affected by Hurricanes Katrina, Wilma and Rita.

For more information on the ICRI please call 1-800-229-3925 or visit www.c-at.com or www.radiointeroperability.com
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jan 31, 2006
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