Michel Gravel is the Director of Security at HEC-Montreal, one of the Canada’s top ranked business schools. Mr. Gravel's primary mandate is maintaining the safety and security of all students, faculty and staff on HEC's campuses. One of the most critical components of the department's security program is its two-way mobile communication systems. So, when Mr. Gravel was charged with the task of updating his department's antiquated analog mobile communications system in 2016, he turned to one of Montreal-area's most experienced radio communications vendors, Jalec Communications.
Like many educational and public-service institutions across the country, the Security department of HEC-Montreal had been relying heavily on an aging Analog Mobile Radio system and infrastructure for their two-way communications. In Mr. Gravel's case, there were a few key factors at play that pointed toward the imminent need for a full communication systems and equipment upgrade.
First and foremost, following an accident experienced by one of the department's on-duty guards, it became evident that the new system would require Man Down functionality – where the user's radio will automatically alert others that he or she has fallen down and might be hurt or otherwise incapable of actively communicating.
Channel Splitting & Emergency
Using their current analog equipment, one communication channel was being shared by all shifts, and across all buildings. Mr. Gravel wanted a system flexible enough to have the capacity to split channels between day shifts and night shifts, as well as across their two main campuses. A dedicated emergency channel was also mandated.
Analog System Support Cut-Off
In addition to needing a more functionally advanced and reliable system in place, the manufacturer of the radios they were using at the time, was no longer providing the ongoing support that the security department relied on when equipment repairs or system updates were required.
With increasingly higher demands for needing clear, reliable two-way communication compounded with decreasing support for its current analog system by the manufacturer at the time, Mr. Gravel saw that time had come for a full systems & equipment upgrade for his team of 26 security guards.
With a clear understanding of the school’s challenges and requirements, Jacques Suave, President & CEO of Jalec Communications, and his team put forth a proposed solution based on Hytera Digital Mobile Radios (DMR). Jalec Communications has been selling, implementing and servicing Hytera radios and equipment for many years with tremendous success. Knowing how much manufacturer support was a critical element in maintaining a successful long-term relationship, Mr. Sauve turned to Hytera and their proven reputation for world-class customer support.
Digital Radios & Repeaters
At the heart of the system, two powerful RD982 digital repeaters were installed, connected to one other on two separate buildings and connected to antennae in each building, essentially creating an architecture of antennae with excellent coverage. The installation of these two digital repeaters have facilitated flawless communication over a vast range of buildings including not only the buildings containing lecture halls and administrative and faculty offices, but neighboring student dormitories as well.
Guards were supplied with PD602 handheld digital mobile radios from Hytera's renown PD6 Series. The radios were selected as an affordable transition from analog to digital as well as for their slim, lightweight design, ideal for their security guards working long shifts. The factory Man Down option feature was added to the units.
In addition to the PD602 units, some MD782 radio units were installed at key security posts to enable guards to view the screen's user interface to quickly respond to emergency situations such as Man Down alerts.
After more than a year of having Hytera radios and equipment in place, Mr. Gravel and his staff have expressed complete satisfaction with the voice quality, channel reliability and overall comfort of use with their new communications system. With the ongoing support from both Jalec Communications and Hytera Canada, the Security Department at HEC-Montreal has never felt more confident in their emergency preparedness and overall ability to maintain safety and security across the entire school's boundaries.