What is an Emergency Responder Communications Enhancement System?

What is an ERCES?

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- everything RF

Jun 13, 2021

An Emergency Responder Communications Enhancement System (ERCES) is a communication system that is installed in buildings to provide a reliable between first responders in and around buildings during emergency situations.

Environments in and around huge buildings or architectural structures are often too complex for signals from emergency responder radio systems to reach the portable radios of the emergency responders. The design, construction and type of the building, electronic devices present in the building as well as other buildings nearby can also affect the passage of radio signals in the building. These may cause hindrance in communication between the responders especially at a time of emergency where misinformation or delayed information may become a cause of loss of property and life.

ERCES deployed in a building would overcome these complexities and ensure reliable communication channels in the building at a time of emergency. The message from the devices that emergency responders use travels through the building’s ERCES system to a signal booster to an exterior antenna to a public safety radio repeater and then to central dispatch. The message is also received by the land mobile radios of other emergency responders on the same communication channel. This way ERCES ensures that information is not lost by giving the emergency responder radio systems a communication boost inside the building premises.

These systems consist of a combination of repeaters, transmitters, receivers, signal booster components, remote annunciators and operational consoles, power supply, and battery charging system components.

Both International Building Code and International Fire Code require the installation of ERCESs in high-rise towers, single-story schools, hospitals, municipal buildings, transportation hubs, tunnels etc. to upgrade the in-building radio signal and provide reliable communications for fire, police, EMS and other public safety personnel.

Click here to see ERCES Codes and Standards.