Seal of Dane County County of Dane
County Executive's Office

County Executive, Public Safety Leaders Break Ground on $18 Million Emergency Communications Network

August 15, 2012
Casey Slaughter Becker, Office of the County Executive 608.267.8823 or cell, 608.843.8858
County Executive

New ‘DaneCom’ System to Link Police, Emergency Medical Services, Fire, & Other Responders

Surrounded by public safety officials from across Dane County, County Executive Joe Parisi led a ground-breaking this morning for the county’s new, $18 million emergency communications network known as ‘DaneCom.’


The groundbreaking was held near Verona, at the site of several radio tower sites that will comprise the new DaneCom system.  Thanks to an unprecedented partnership between Dane County and dozens of its cities, villages, and towns, the new state-of-the-art system will substantially increase public safety, Parisi said.


“Whether it’s a car crash or fire, tornado, flood, or blizzard, responders from across our county work together everyday to keep us safe and this new radio system will help ensure a seamless, well-coordinated response,” Parisi said. “By partnering with communities throughout the county, we are able to make a significant investment in public safety despite historically difficult economic times. Despite the boundaries that divide our cities, villages, and towns DaneCom will make it easier for public safety responders to work together and save lives.”

DaneCom can seamlessly link emergency responders and public works officials – from sheriff’s deputies to snow plow drivers – on one ultra-modern radio network. This will be particularly helpful in improving communication for emergencies that involve a regional effort – for example, the Stoughton tornado, or the county’s historic Groundhog’s Day blizzard of 2011.

The new DaneCom system includes a variety of state of the art features including expanded coverage to rural areas and reliability. It also includes a tactical system designed to make it easier for firefighters to communicate from on the scenes of building fires.

Harris Corporation, the company selected by representatives from DaneCom’s project partners to build the network has guaranteed a high level of coverage throughout the entire county. After the system is complete, the company will conduct hundreds of manual quality safety checks throughout Dane County to ensure coverage and operability.

The system also includes enhanced technology to create communication bridges, allowing responders using different networks to talk with one another. The bridges will connect to a statewide radio system, as well as smaller systems operated by local cities.

On Thursday the Dane County Board will vote on the resolution authorizing the County Executive to sign the dozens of intergovernmental agreements from cities, villages, and towns that will create DaneCom’s funding and governing structure.

Under the terms of agreements signed by the municipalities, Dane County will pay the capital costs of constructing the new system – about $18 million. The county, cities, villages, and towns will share the ongoing cost to operate and maintain the network, estimated at $825,000 annually.

Cost-sharing agreements for DaneCom will be determined in the years ahead by the "DaneCom Governing Board " comprised of representatives of Dane County, the Dane County Cities and Villages and Dane County Towns Associations, the Dane County Chiefs of Police, Dane County EMS Association, and Dane County Fire Chiefs Associations.


Construction of DaneCom is anticipated to be complete in 2013.


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