In 2012, Vernon Public Schools in Connecticut USA, upgraded the district's communications systems utilizing the DMR standard. The system provided users PD78X portable radios and linked RD98X repeaters. The investment in this state-of-the-art digital platform has improved school communication efficiency and better secured the safety of the faculty, staff, and most of all, young students.

Vernon Public Schools is comprised of 7 separate school buildings and 1 administration building serving approximately 3000 students. As with any school district, administrators place the security of all individuals as their highest priority; a challenging task considering the number of people spread across eight different facilities.


Vernon Public Schools, Connecticut, USA

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PD78X Portable Radio

RD98X Repeater

The Challenge

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    While active shooter scenarios make for terrifying headlines, they are indeed rare occurrences when compared to other school emergencies that also require rapid response. Fights between students, accidents on playgrounds or at gym, disastrous weather-related events, fires, and health scares are all incidences school administrators face regularly.

    Also, with hundreds of people passing through the campuses daily, effective crowd control is essential to maintaining order. Add to those large events, such as sporting competitions against rival teams, which pose additional challenges to administrators managing school operations.

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    As part of the modernization program, the Bureau wanted to upgrade the communication and incident recording solutions available to customs staff. It wanted to implement a body worn camera (BWC) system to provide daily recordings and real time viewing capabilities.

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    The BWC solution was needed to capture video evidence, so the footage could be used to review incidents. BOC also wanted to deploy BWCs at ports throughout the Philippine archipelago to enhance its monitoring activities.

The Solution

The key to providing for maximum emergency readiness is clear, unobstructed communication allowing for rapid response. Large campuses present coverage problems and dead zones where two-way radios may fail. Also, many antiquated two-way radio systems are not interoperable with those currently used by first responders including police, EMTs, and firefighters. The radios used on today's campuses must be professional grade, light, durable, reliable, and contain enough battery power to last all day.

To meet the coverage requirements posed by eight different facilities spread across a town of eighteen square miles, and a cost effective solution, Hytera and the district worked together to provide a single system that allowed for seamless operation both at individual buildings and across the entire district.

Hytera PD78XG two-way radios were selected for their dual modes that make them compatible with digital and analog systems currently in use. To ensure interoperability with emergency first responders, the PD78XG provides for an emergency channel.

As the previous system was analog and could easily be monitored by unauthorized individuals with inexpensive radio scanners, addressing security was important in the upgrade. The PD78XG encrypted two-way radios prevent unauthorized monitoring of communications that may have confidential staff and student information.

The PD78XG is user friendly and durable, making them perfect for the demands of daily use in a school environment. Exceptional Li-ion battery life ensures reliable, longlasting performance so that operators can carry the radios all day on a single charge. While currently not being utilized, the PD78XG has a GPS option, and integration with data applications, allowing users to track personnel carrying the radio.

In addition to the radios themselves, two repeater sites were installed and outfitted with RD98X repeaters. Having two sites allow for better coverage than with the previous system and eliminates dead spots. Now the Vernon Public Schools has blanket coverage and crystal clear voice communication across all eight facilities.


Better Security Operations Hytera Brings

School administrators praise their Hytera communications system for its ease of use, cost effectiveness, reliability, technical support, and especially  interoperability.

Currently, Vernon Public Schools is looking to further expand its communication efforts with Hytera's XPT Digital Trunking System allowing for additional capacity. The collaboration between Vernon Public Schools and Hytera has proven immensely successful, and will only improve as the company remains dedicated to providing the latest and most cost-effective communication solutions to the district, as it does with all clients. 

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