Motorola unveiled at APCO 2010 its APX700 XE, a multiband portable radio developed based on firefighter feedback and field-testing. The Project 25, Phase II-compatible radio features GPS location tracking and an AMBE digital vocoder, and supports voice and data.

Most importantly, the radio addresses firefighters' concerns over digital audio quality by using a two-microphone design that filters out background noise and acoustic- and noise-cancelling software tailored to the loud noises encountered on the fireground, said Brenda Herold, a company vice president.

"Fireground sounds, like fire alarms, are removed from the processing through noise profiles built in the software," Herold said.

The radio also has a top display with intelligent lighting that lets users receive commands based on color, instead of trying to decipher a text message in a smoke-filled environment.

"The color indicates a command," Herold said. "For example, it can be programmed to light up a specific color to represent a mayday."

Even the housing and button locations were based on firefighter needs, Herold said.

Read the entire story from FIRE CHIEF, our sister publication.

Related Stories