Complete Emergency Communications Overhaul for Hawaii Emergency Warning System

Complete Emergency Communications Overhaul for Hawaii Emergency Warning System

Federal Signal rolls out statewide update to emergency warning system

PR Newswire

UNIVERSITY PARK, Ill., June 25, 2013

UNIVERSITY PARK, Ill., June 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Federal Signal Alerting &
Notification Systems, the leader in mass notification solutions for
communities and facilities around the world, today announced that it has
successfully completed the first phase of a statewide emergency warning system
upgrade in Hawaii. The project replaces existing VHF and trunked radio
networks with redundant satellite and cellular communications for controlling
and monitoring the sirens throughout the state, and replaces aging siren
equipment. The first fully integrated statewide siren network, Hawaii's new
emergency warning and communications system covers the largest geographical
area of any U.S. system.

"Working with a state like Hawaii poses unique geographical and logistical
challenges," said John Von Thaden, vice president and general manager for
Federal Signal. "The system will cover four counties and six islands spanning
over 300 miles and provide the state with a common communications
infrastructure. The new system provides the state with the ability to monitor
every siren from a centralized location. Our job was to integrate the islands
through an efficient and redundant method using connected, streamlined

For more than 60 years, Federal Signal has worked with Hawaii to provide
alerting systems across the state. Through this project, Federal Signal will
simplify maintenance of the warning system, create a single, statewide
communication infrastructure for integrated monitoring and control, and allow
for a backup activation network, should one ever fail.

"The existing sirens in Hawaii are comprised of a variety of product ages and
versions, with varying capabilities. This coupled with the vast communications
distances and varying terrain and heavy foliage poses a number of integration
problems. We knew that we needed to create a modern, hybrid system that
didn't just rely on a singular network," said Scott Cassidy, director of
engineering for Federal Signal. "The new system takes existing warning sirens
and updates them with an activation network that allows customized
communication — from statewide alerts to local community notifications — at
the touch of a button."

Previous warning systems in Hawaii relied on radio transmissions, most of
which didn't allow for two-way communications or error messaging when a siren
or communications path failed. Federal Signal's satellite and cellular hybrid
system includes an array of speakers made up of drivers that can communicate
through voice, text-to-speech and pre-recorded audio. Electronic controllers
can manage messages, continually monitor readiness of the sirens, quickly
confirm activation, and alert operators about system operational status.

"Given the geographic complexity and diversity of existing warning equipment
in our state, we needed a partner who could pull a mission critical system
together and manage the integration of software, communications, and siren
equipment for a mission critical system," said Tom Simon, Systems Engineer for
the State of Hawaii. "After working together for many years with Federal
Signal, we knew we shared the common goal of establishing an outdoor siren
warning system to support our residents and visitors for years to come."

The first phase of the Hawaii project included the rollout of a new system on
the island of Oahu and consisted of 144 siren upgrades. Federal Signal plans
to complete a second island upgrade during summer 2013, with the other islands
coming soon after.

About Federal Signal
Federal Signal Corporation (NYSE:FSS) enhances the safety, security and
well-being of communities and workplaces around the world. Founded in 1901,
Federal Signal is a leading global designer and manufacturer of products and
total solutions that serve municipal, governmental, industrial and
institutional customers. Headquartered in Oak Brook, Illinois., with
manufacturing facilities worldwide, the Company operates four groups: Safety
and Security Systems, Environmental Solutions, Federal Signal Technologies,
and Fire Rescue. For more information on Federal Signal, visit:

Media Contacts
Jamie Veal
Hill + Knowlton Strategies
+1 312-475-5901

SOURCE Federal Signal Corporation

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