ServicesTechnologyLife Safety – First Responder Radio Coverage

Life Safety – First Responder Radio Coverage

The First Responder Radio (FRR) portion of the 2017 Ohio Fire Code has been expanded from two paragraphs to three pages. JDRM Engineering has completed more than 100 public safety radio tests for new and existing buildings. A pioneer in the engineering of First Responder Radio Testing and In-Building RF Amplification Design in Ohio, our services have expanded north into Michigan, west into Indiana, east to Pennsylvania, and as far south as Florida. This offering has helped many clients with emergency responder radio testing and emergency responder radio coverage while extending our desire to keep safety and code compliance as the pinnacle of our consulting engineering services.

First Responder Radio testing continues to expand as plan examiners and fire code officials become aware of the provisions of the Ohio Building Code (OBC) and Ohio Fire Code (OFC) requiring all new buildings to have NFPA emergency responder radio coverage. Additionally, the code now allows fire code officials to enforce this code in existing structures if they know their public safety radio coverage does not work.

The following are among the 250+ in-building public safety radio tests JDRM has completed:

  • Rossford Senior Living Apartments – Rossford, Ohio: Three stories spanning 180 test points per floor (Most buildings require about 20 test points/floor. The increase here is due to two, two-hour firewalls in the complex which equates to three buildings per floor for accurate testing.)
  • Amazon Distribution Center – 2.6 million SF, Rossford, Ohio.
  • First Solar Production Facility – 1.2 million SF, Perrysburg, Ohio.
  • The Tower on the Maumee, a 28-story high rise in downtown Toledo, Ohio
  • The Mosiac apartment complex – three structures including two, four-story units located at Levis Commons in Perrysburg, Ohio
  • Defiance High School and Middle School, 310,000 square foot facility, Defiance, Ohio
  • Home2 Suites by Hilton an all-suite, extended-stay hotel also at Levis Commons
  • Two-story, 65,000 SF medical office building (MOB) for ProMedica in Defiance, Ohio
  • Northwood High School -Northwood, Ohio
  • Hull Prairie Intermediate School – Perrysburg, Ohio’s grades 5-6 building
  • Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center Emergency Room addition – Toledo, Ohio
  • The Renaissance Toledo – downtown hotel in Toledo, Ohio
  • ProMedica Junction building (first known as the Toledo Trust building), downtown Toledo, Ohio
  • The Senator Group / Allermuir facility – Monclova Township, Ohio

The Ohio Building Code Section 916 Requires: “Emergency responder radio coverage shall be provided in all new buildings in accordance with Section 510 of the fire code.” The Ohio Fire Code Section 510 outlines these requirements for testing and In Building Amplification to conform to this important requirement.

Trends we see indicate First Responder Radio testing is gaining importance are evidenced by legislation now in place within the State of Florida which states: “(18) The authority having jurisdiction shall determine the minimum radio signal strength for fire department communications in all new high-rise and existing high-rise buildings. Existing buildings are not required to comply with minimum radio strength for fire department communications and two-way radio system enhancement communications as required by the Florida Fire Prevention Code until January 1, 2022. However, by December 31, 2019, an existing building that is not in compliance with the requirements for minimum radio strength for fire department communications must apply for an appropriate permit for the required installation with the local government agency having jurisdiction and must demonstrate that the building will become compliant by January 1, 2022. Existing apartment buildings are not required to comply until January 1, 2025. However, existing apartment buildings are required to apply for the appropriate permit for the required communications installation by December 31, 2022.”

JDRM can help your organization become compliant with the regulations – click here for answers to frequently asked questions. Our trained staff, specialized testing equipment, and strategic partnerships combine to provide the expertise required to fulfill your emergency responder DAS testing requirements under the regulations. Plan examiners are requiring conformance to this code section and JDRM is ready to see you through the intricacies of the public safety radio coverage testing requirements. Check out our First Responder Radio work for Home Depot’s 1.6 million square foot distribution center. and for Woodmore Schools in Woodville, Ohio.

Download the brochure for more information: JDRM Engineering First Responder Radio Coverage 2018. If you have any questions regarding emergency responder radio coverage in buildings or need assistance in meeting this code please contact JDRM Technology Department Manager – Steve Wheeler, RCDD at 419-824-2400.

Learn from the Professionals at JDRM Engineering

Steve Wheeler, RCDD, presents an engaging overview of code requirements and insights into Emergency Response Radio Coverage Testing and Design for organizations across Ohio and Michigan.

The State of Ohio Department of Commerce Division of Industrial Compliance has approved three courses Steve designed for First Responder Radio Coverage Code Requirements for continuing education credits with the Ohio Board of Building Standards. Professionals looking to stay current with today’s emergency responder radio testing and coverage regulations including Building Officials, Master Plans Examiners, Building Inspectors, Fire Protection Plan Examiners and Fire Protection Inspectors, will receive certificates upon the completion of each session and JDRM Engineering will verify attendance and course completion with the board.

Additionally, the State of Michigan, Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, has approved the JDRM Engineering course entitled First Responder Radio Coverage Code Requirements for continuing education credit. BI, PR and BO/PR Categories are approved for 01 Technical and 01 Plan Review hours. (Details available upon request.)

Please call Steve at 419-824-2400 if your group or organization would like to schedule a presentation to learn more about your public safety radio testing responsibilities and the in-building public safety radio testing regulations in place.

What attendees are saying

Just wanted to say thanks for a very informative program and for providing all the goodies (edible and not edible).  I do plan review on a contract basis and knowing the code requirements is imperative to doing a complete review.  The information is very beneficial.

Thank you – this was one of the best 2-hrs sessions I’ve attended.

Your information was very well presented and is much appreciated – and I’m glad you had good humor with all of our questions and code challenges.

Next Up

No public presentations are scheduled at this time.

Please contact Steve Wheeler at 419-824-2400 with your First Responder Radio questions or to discuss your presentation needs.

Past presentations have included:

BICSI Winter Conference & Exhibition, February 10, 2020, Tampa Convention Center, Tampa, Florida. This was an international venue and Steve’s presentation drew more than double the expected attendance. It was both a personal and professional honor to be chosen as a presenter by BICSI which is the global professional association supporting the advancement of the information and communications technology community. Attendees comments included:

Very good coverage of the material. I liked the code-to-practice understanding.

Terrific. Need more like this.

Michigan Fire Inspectors Society Fall Educational Conference, September 24, 2019 – Shanty Creek Resort, Bellaire, Michigan

Code Officials Conference of Michigan – Fall Conference, September 10, 2019 at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center on the campus of Michigan State University in Lansing, Michigan

JDRM Engineering presenting First Responder Radio Testing Services to Michigan Fire Inspectors Conference September 2019

First Responder Radio Coverage Code Seminars for Public Safety Professionals, April 4, 2019 – Dayton, Ohio. Pictured below is the first of two sessions held that day.

First Responder Radio Coverage Code Seminars for Public Safety Professionals:  March 27, 2019.  Presented by the Central Michigan Fire Inspectors Society, Saginaw, Michigan.

Emergency Response Radio Requirements and Electrical Safety: March 12, 2019. Special Event for Northwest Ohio Safety Council Members/Safety Campaign participants.

Mid-Michigan Code Officials Association (MMCOA) January Meeting: First Responder Radio Coverage Code Seminar. January 10, 2019 – East Lansing, Michigan.

GLD Group & JDRM Engineering, First Responder Radio Coverage Code Seminars for Public Safety Professionals and Building Owners. June 26, 2018 – Pomeray, Florida.

GLD Group & JDRM Engineering, First Responder Radio Coverage Code Seminar for Public Safety Professionals. Certification granted by the State of Ohio and this seminar awarded two Fire Inspector Continuing Education Credits for attendees. May 17, 2018 – Columbus, Ohio.

GLD Group & JDRM Engineering, First Responder Radio Coverage Code Seminar – for Public Safety Professionals including Dearborn City Schools, Metro Detroit Fire Inspection Society, Southeast Michigan Fire Inspection Society, Oakland-Macomb Fire Protection Society, Ford Motor Company and more. May 10, 2018 – Dearborn, Michigan.

GLD Group & JDRM Engineering, Code-Compliant Uninterrupted Radio Coverage – for Fire Chiefs and First Responders/Public Safety Professionals. February 28, 2018 – Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Northwest Ohio Building Officials Association 2017 Continuing Education: First Responder Radio Coverage Code Requirements and Building Science for Building Officials. December 7, 2017.

P&R Communications First Responder Radio Coverage focused on the needs of public safety personnel, commercial building owners/managers and manufacturing plant facilities personnel. June 20, 2017 – Toledo and Sidney, Ohio.

2016 CAM/ASSE Safety Leadership & Professional Development Conference presented by the Construction Association of Michigan and the Greater Detroit Chapter of the American Society of Safety Engineers. December 7, 2016.

Ohio Safety Congress & Expo sponsored by the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation, March 9, 2016.

State of Ohio Fire Marshals Meeting 2016.

The University of Michigan Electrical Engineering, Commissioning & Plan Review professionals.

Owens State Community College – Center for Emergency Preparedness
Special In-Depth Presentations for First Responders. November 2, 11, 19, 2015 – Perrysburg, Ohio.

TRACE – Toledo Regional Architects, Contractors & Engineers

NW Ohio Fire Inspectors and Fire Chiefs – Woodmore Schools FRR Tour and Woodville, Ohio Fire Station.

What others are saying about JDRM

It was great meeting your team at Windermere HS last week, Chris and Arin were the constant professionals and very knowledgeable about the service they provided. We are looking forward to the final report to brief our senior leadership on actions moving forward.
Again thank you,

Alvin L. Sims Jr.Be sure the radio transmission he sends make it through YOUR facility!
Director of Fire, Health & Safety
Orange County Public Schools

Be sure the radio transmissions First Responders send makes it through YOUR facility!

School security is critically important.

Check out insights on fire alarm pull stations and code requirement options by our Technology group manager and partner, Steve Wheeler, RCDD.

Steve Wheeler, RCDD
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