Redwood City Unveils High-Tech Radio Shop, Bolstering Emergency Communications for San Mateo County Agencies

Redwood City Unveils High-Tech Radio Shop, Bolstering Emergency Communications for San Mateo County AgenciesSource: County of San Mateo
Eileen Vargas
Published on December 09, 2023

The San Mateo County Government reports that Redwood City's first responders and various county departments just got a significant upgrade with the opening of a state-of-the-art radio shop. This critical facility maintains the county's emergency communication system, ensuring park rangers, public works crews, and several other crucial agencies stay connected through reliable two-way radios, a crisis lifeline, per the County of San Mateo news report.

After operating without a permanent home for years, communication specialists, who are the unsung heroes of safety and coordination, now have a sprawling 13,000-square-foot space equipped with a service garage for vehicle maintenance, specialized stations for testing equipment, and even an area for technicians to practice scaling towers—necessary skills for maintaining the vast network that extends far across the county. Natasha Claire-Espino, director of the county’s Public Safety Communications, whose dispatchers handle 911 calls, explained the dedicated work of these specialists, who are on-call round the clock to ensure the functionality of emergency systems.

The new Radio Shop not only enhances the capabilities of the folks that keep the radio network up and running but also serves a hub for around 2,300 radios and all the infrastructure that supports them," according to Payman Maghami, a senior systems engineer with the County’s Information Services Department. He likened the operation to running a telecom company but on a county scale, boasting "extremely high reliability and multiple redundancies built-in."

Agencies depending on the restored Radio Shop include the Sheriff's Office, Parks Department, Public Works Department and more, alongside other entities like the Peninsula Human Society, American Medical Response, and SamTrans that are all integral threads in the fabric of the county's public safety net; Mike Callagy, now the County's executive officer and a former police officer, recalled the necessity of dependable radio communication during pursuits, during the ribbon cutting he expressed the shop signifies support for thousands of people relying on this infrastructure Supervisor David J. Canepa lauded the investment in the facility, remarking it as a step towards not just 21st but "22nd Century technology."