Success Stories | Public Safety

Los Angeles Fire Department

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Executive Summary

REDCOM equipment has been a critical part of the communications network for the City of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Fire Department since the early 1990s. The REDCOM system had been working reliably for more than two decades, but they needed to transition to IP to take advantage of the city’s new fiber network. In 2016, the LAFD reached out to REDCOM for ideas on how we could work together to cost-effectively upgrade their system. REDCOM came up with a phased approach that maintained compatibility with the existing infrastructure while positioning the City of Los Angeles and the LAFD for future growth. The first phase went live on June 11, 2019, with the second phase scheduled for 2020.

The Customer

The Los Angeles Fire Department is one of the largest municipal fire departments in the United States with approximately 3,380 sworn and 380 civilian personnel who work from 106 fire stations and dozens of other office and fire facility locations throughout the City. The Department serves a population of over 4 million and covers a service area of nearly 500 square miles and responds to nearly 500,000 incidents per year.

The Challenge

The LAFD had a legacy REDCOM MSP system in place, which interfaced with the Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD) system and provided the alerting network to all 106 city fire stations. This system has been working reliably for more than two decades, but the city needed to begin the transition to a more modern, high-speed fiber-optic network that could support IP in order to make way for a new fire station alerting system. In an effort to reduce cost and lower risk, the LAFD needed a way to keep their existing fire station alerting system operational throughout the migration process.

“REDCOM has a long history of supporting the Los Angeles Fire Department’s fire station alerting communications system, so we were thrilled to be working with them on this next-generation system,” said Dennis Kohlmeier, Business Development Director, Public Safety Markets, REDCOM. “REDCOM is uniquely qualified for this project. Not only are we helping the LAFD to modernize their network, but we’re doing so in a way that maintains interoperability with their current infrastructure.”

The REDCOM Solution

REDCOM came up with a two-phased approach to evolve the LAFD’s communications network.

Phase one of the Los Angeles Fire Department’s fire station alerting system upgrade involved the installation of two REDCOM HDX systems to act as gateways. This enabled the city to keep its existing system, while providing a path to migrate to IP without impacting end-to-end operations.

“We worked closely with REDCOM to figure out how best to transition to an all-IP network. Together we came up with this two-phased approach,” said Scott Porter, CIO Los Angeles Fire Department. “REDCOM is making it possible for us to update the technology for all of our fire stations, in a fiscally responsible manner over multiple years. The solution is the only one that allows us to upgrade our network infrastructure in phases so that we can move to the new systems at our own pace.

Phase 1:

“REDCOM’s ability to work with our existing technology is the reason we decided to partner with them as we embarked on this upgrade,” said Stella Bairamian, Director of Dev & Ops Los Angeles Fire Department. “We’re very pleased with REDCOM’s professionalism, attention to detail, and customer support.”

Phase Two of the Los Angeles Fire Department upgrade involves the replacement of the legacy REDCOM MSP system with a fully IP-based REDCOM HDX system, which will enable the Department to continue to enhance its fire station alerting capabilities replacing old analog components in each fire station with new, modern ones. Once the MSP has been replaced and they are fully cut-over, the HDX gateways from Phase One will become part of a redundant backup system. Phase Two is scheduled to go live in 2020.

Phase 2:

A Partner for Success

At REDCOM, we do business differently than most other vendors. REDCOM is willing to go above and beyond to find a way to best serve our customers, which often means thinking outside the box. Interested in learning more? Reach out to the REDCOM team at 585-924-6500 or email