Future radio communication changes include an 800 mhz trunked radio system which is being implemented throughout the state of Minnesota. The system is commonly called ARMER, which is an acronym for Allied Radio Matrix for Emergency Response
ARMER, or Allied Radio Matrix for Emergency Response, describes the 800 mhz trunked radio system being implemented throughout the state of Minnesota. 186 Million dollars has been allocated by the state for the build-out of the system in greater Minnesota.
Established in 2004, the Allied Radio Matrix for Emergency Response (ARMER) Program, is a 700/800 megahertz (MHz) shared digital trunked radio communication and data transmission system. The Motorola-based ARMER network back bone is a robust, scalable, state-of-the-art system that is capable of servicing the communication needs of every city, county, state agency, tribal government and non-government public service entity operating in the state. The ARMER system is the fundamental infrastructure necessary for emergency responders to achieve seamless interoperable communications to best serve the citizens of Minnesota for all local, regional and statewide daily operations and disaster response operations.
Interoperable Communications - Interoperability is the ability to communicate, as needed, on demand, and as authorized at all levels of government and across all Public Safety and Public Service disciplines.
All 87 Minnesota Counties and a number of cities participate in one of seven regional governance structures which manage interoperability within their region in the State of Minnesota. These legally recognized Joint Powers Boards are made up of elected county commissioners and city council members. The boards’ mission is to fill the interoperability gaps on a regional level and manage local migration to and use of the ARMER system. The Users Committee, Owners and Operators Committee, Regional Advisory Committee and Regional Emergency Service Boards are the core of Minnesota’s governance structure. Resolving communications interoperability gaps starting at the local level is fundamentally changing how emergency services are delivered across the entire State of Minnesota.
ARMER in Douglas County
Douglas County is centrally located within the Central Minnesota region of the ARMER network. The Central Minnesota Region consists of 19 counties and one city, the city of St. Cloud. Douglas County is an active member of several of the Central Minnesota Region’s committees. Locally, as defined in the Statewide ARMER Standards, Douglas County operates under the local county-wide governance of the Douglas County System Administrator and the Sheriff, as assigned by the Douglas County Commissioners. The System Administrator and Sheriff administer all end users of the communications system at the local level. Several Standards have been implemented to maintain uniform operations of the communications network among all Douglas County ARMER users.
In early 2013, with the completion of an extensive remodel of the Law Enforcement Center, Douglas County completed migration to the ARMER network. All county-wide public service personnel (law enforcement, fire, and emergency medical service organizations, and public works employees) transitioned to radio communications on the ARMER network.
Access to the ARMER network
To be allowed access and use of the ARMER communications network, all Douglas County ARMER public service end users are first required to complete on-line ARMER network training modules through the Alexandria Technical and Community College. Second, all end users are then required to attend a four-hour classroom session that reviews the online training modules, learn about the Statewide, Regional, and local Standards of operation and system use. Third, all end users then participate in actual hands-on training of the radios they will be assigned.
All Douglas County end users are also required to attend classroom style refresher training every two years to be kept up to date on ARMER system operations and standards.