In 2017, CREST moved from a three year to a four year Strategic Plan. The plan focuses on the implementation and of system-wide infrastructure upgrades to improve public and emergency responder safety across the southern Vancouver Island Region.
CREST’s technology infrastructure includes:
- 29 transmission sites
- Over 50 in-vehicle repeaters
- Over 2500 mobile and portable radios
Over the next 4 years, CREST will roll out “next generation” technology to replace the existing 13-year-old radio communications system. The new HRO communications system is considered a world standard and is based on digital radio technology known as Project 25 (P25), which provides first responders with enhanced audio clarity and coverage among other operational and safety benefits.
Advancing to this platform is supported by all emergency services in the Capital Region and represents a suite of standards for digital radio communications used by federal, provincial, state and local emergency response agencies across North America.
Phase 1 (Core: Victoria, Saanich, Oak Bay, and Esquimalt)
The installation of the communications mono-pole at Highrock Park in Esquimalt completes the infrastructure upgrade for the core area. Over the summer, CREST will be working with user agencies providing training on the new radios to strengthen technology familiarity and to ensure technology optimization. Testing on the new HRO/P25 system will take place June – August with operational transition/cutover to take place later in the fall.
Phase 2 (Westshore & Saanich Peninsula) P25 700MHz & VHF – Late 2017
- Equipment installation late 2017
- System optimization, functional & coverage testing first half 2018
- Operational transition/cutover/ fall 2018
Phase 3 (Gulf Islands & Pacific Rim) P25 VHF – 2018
- Equipment installation 2018
- System optimization, functional & coverage testing Fall 2018
- Operational transition/cutover/ Q1 2019