800MHz Communications System

Providing The Communications Needs for The Safety Forces And Other Local Government Agencies Throughout All Of Pickaway County

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Pickaway County

Circleville, Ohio

Information on this page last updated       August 2014


  Advisory Board Members          History         What is 800MHz ?           General Policy Statement  

Advisory Board By-Laws          Site Equipment            Frequencies         Talk Groups         

   Commissioners            Links

Advisory Board Members


Countywide 800 MHz


Tom Swisher

740-420-5481                      tswisher@pickaway.org


Robert B. Radcliff              Representing Pickaway County Sheriff's Office                                         

740-477-6000                      rradcliff@pickawaysheriff.com 


H. Wayne Gray Jr.             Representing Circleville Police Department                                                         

740-477-8221                      chiefgray@circlevillepolice.com


David M. Conrad                Representing County Emergency Management Agency                        

740-477-1165                       ema@pickaway.org


Anthony Neff, P.E.,P.S.      Representing Pickaway County Engineer

740-474-3360                      aneff@pickawayengineer.org

Clark K. McFarland II        Representing County Firefighters Assoc.         

740-986-3191                      mcfarlandck49@gmail.com

Timothy Tener                     Representing Circleville Fire Department                                                       

740-477-8227                       chieftener@circlevillefire.net

Charles Arledge                  Representing Schools and Transportation                                          

740-477-7477                          arledgec@frontier.com

Glenn Arledge                    Representing County EMS Agencies                                                        

740-474-1275                      arledge6@yahoo.com

Brad Lutz                            Representing County Commissioners at Representative-at-Large 

740-474-6093                      blutz@pickaway.org


Advisory Board Members          What is 800MHz ?          General Policy Statement

Advisory Board By-Laws         Site Equipment          Frequencies           Talk Groups     

  Commissioners       Links


System History


Countywide 800 MHz


BACKGROUND: A problem existed with the radio communication capabilities of the various fire departments, emergency medical services, as well as, other public safety/service agencies located within the county.

With most of these agencies that were already using two-way radio communications there was a wide spread difference of radio frequencies being used. Some were on low band VHF, others on high band VHF, and still others were operating on the UHF radio spectrum. This proposed a problem with many of these agencies. They were unable to communicate with each other. Many conversations had to be relayed through a central dispatcher or through the use of telephones.

There were also some agencies that had a need for radio communications. Some were unable to find any available radio spectrum or were not able to afford the costs involved in maintaining their own private radio system.

After several meetings between interested individuals and the Board of County Commissioners the Pickaway County 800 MHz Advisory Board was created by resolution by the County Commissioners on August 8, 1996.

This 800 MHz Advisory Board was authorized to research and develop a plan to resolve this dilemma, and to move Pickaway County into the future with their communications needs.

The Advisory Board found (2) two vendors of communications equipment that were willing to donate to the county some of the needed equipment to start out with a multiple channel 800 MHz trunked radio system.

After reviewing the presentations from the different communications systems vendors, with numerous visits to other agencies, and after careful examination, discussion and consideration the advisory board developed a plan. This plan was presented on January 27, 1997 to the County Commissioners for their consideration.

The County Commissioners passed by resolution, on February 20, 1997, to accept the Advisory Board's recommendations and agreed to offer their support toward acquiring this Countywide radio system.

SYSTEM DESIGN: Pickaway County covers 500 plus square miles of area and with a total county population of around 50,000 people. The City of Circleville, the largest populated area within the county accounts for approximately 12,000 of this total population census.

The topography of the county is basically flat terrain with some rolling hills located in the southeastern portion of the county. With the area and terrain involved this offered the possibility that adequate, Countywide, coverage possibly could be obtained through constructing a single site system.

With most of the other public safety/service agencies that have upgraded their communications systems moving in the direction of the 800 MHz band, it was decided that this would be the best path to follow.

The primary purpose of the system will be to provide, to the extent possible within the constraints of available funding, emergency radio communications accessibility to police, sheriff, fire, emergency medical services, hazardous materials teams, public school districts, hospitals, other public safety/services and local governmental agencies within Pickaway County.

Control and operation responsibilities of the system will be provided by the appointed advisory board. This board is a joint city-county board and it consists of (9) nine members of different city-county agencies that will represent the users of the system. Each appointed member has equal voting power. The 800 MHz Advisory Boards structure, purpose, objectives and responsibilities are outlined under by-laws that have been adopted. All financial matters regarding the system must be brought before the Board of Commissioners for final approval.

The new 800 MHz system has been designed with the capacity to meet the diverse needs of the users with one compatible radio network. This network will have sufficient capacity to meet the growth needs of the county; it will provide the coverage capabilities essential to public safety/services that the current systems lacks; it has a high likelihood of surviving a natural disaster for the delivery of reliable service; and it will provide for direct communications between jurisdictions to better meet mutual response needs during single incidents or during a disaster.

The system has been designed for portable "at grade" coverage wherever possible and the system loading is patterned so that all areas of the county experience relativity similar capacity access. The overall county-wide system has been designed with sufficient frequency capacity to include most, if not all, general government users within Pickaway County. The system is of a modular design that will allow additional equipment and frequencies to be added as the county's needs grow.

STATUS OF INFRASTRUCTURE CONSTRUCTION: The design of the system and equipment order, staging and delivery, the build-out of the system will progress in several phases.

First, the back bone equipment needed to be housed in a safe and secure shelter. A location was then needed to place this shelter. It was imperative that this location be at a high elevation point within the county to maximize the radio range coverage. Both of these items were extremely important issues that needed addressed.

As for the communications shelter, acquiring this was made possible starting with a generous financial donation, from an outside non-profit source, which had been obtained by the Pickaway County Firefighters Association. The remaining costs involved were handled by agreement between the Pickaway County Commissioners and the City of Circleville. They agreed to find the necessary funds to share with the remaining costs in obtaining this shelter and other needed start up materials that were involved. The tower site location was made possible by a local sportsman's club organization, this group agreed to lease to the county a portion of it' s land. Where a 450' communication tower was constructed on this property. Shortly thereafter the County Commissioners decided to purchase the tract of land where the shelter and tower was located. This was done so that the tower, shelter and land would all be the property of the County.

With the backbone up and running and following some limited testing, and confirmation, that it is all working properly, some agencies were now are able to come on line. Users begin to have conversation on the new system.

The second phase involved the purchase and installation of the necessary public safety related 800 MHz equipment, by the City and the County, for the E-911 Dispatch Centers. This was handled separately by each entity to fit their specific needs. Zetron consoles were chosen because of there flexible architecture and ability to work both conventional and trunked radio systems into one.

Equipment necessary for each entity to talk into the system, mobile and portable radio units, remain that agency's own responsibility. With this type of radio system, there are different levels, types, and options of equipment available. Although the advisory board has established basic guidelines on equipment, and it's use, each department must decide what equipment best fits their needs.

Radio units are arranged into specific talk groups, enabling those who need to routinely communicate with each other to do so privately. However, mutual aid talk groups will also be set up, and configured into radio units, so that inter-departmental communications as well as Countywide communications can exist. These features will be especially valuable in the event of emergency situations or a disaster.

Radio units also have a push-to-talk ID feature that will help the dispatchers, as well as other users of the system, to quickly identify radios and the personnel using them. A "special call" feature is built into the system that will allow "one-on-one" private conversation between any two users of the system.

Two Additional Channels were added to the growing system in early in 2002 and three additional channels were again added in 2005 to accommodate the growth of agencies and users operating off of the system. To date approximately 1150 radios can utilize this system.

SUMMARY AND VISION FOR THE FUTURE: The acquirement of this state of the art wireless communications system has placed Pickaway County well into the path of the future. It can provide the entire county with the needed infrastructure to move information and to access grow into some of the newest technologies in communications that is constancy becoming available. Local interoperability issues have been solved with this system. Virtually all government agencies, including most of the local school districts can communicate with one and other should an incident or disaster strike.

Future plans call for Pickaway County to migrate to a Project 25 digital radio system, which will enhance interoperability with surrounding counties using a state-of-the-art, standards-based radio system that will offer improved coverage and greater choice in equipment vendors for Pickaway County agencies.

Advisory Board Members          What is 800MHz ?          General Policy Statement

Advisory Board By-Laws         Site Equipment          Frequencies           Talk Groups     

  Commissioners       Links

What is 800 MHz Communications all about ?


Countywide 800 MHz


Previously the City of Circleville and Pickaway County's Police and Fire radio systems were somewhat old and not very flexible by today's standards. The oldest radios were 20 plus years old and the newest radios are around 5 years old. These radios are called "analog format" which means they operate on signals that cannot be processed by computers.

The 800mhz frequencies can be sent in a "digital format computer language." In fact, the radio system is controlled by computers, much like cellular telephones. The signals from the radios are broken down into a series of 1's and 0's and are broadcast on the 800MHz band. The computers determine which of the available frequencies are assigned for both sending and receiving communications. All this is done instantaneously. The computer also handles the assignment of "talk groups," whereby groups of users can communicate with each other on a regular basis, or in the event of an emergency. This allows different agencies to talk to each other for coordination during the event, and allows planning and response between agencies to be much faster.

This higher frequency equates to less noise, interference and allows signals to penetrate easier out of buildings, an especially important safety feature for firemen and law enforcement officers. All governmental agencies within Pickaway County , that use wireless communications, will benefit with this technology.


   Advisory Board Members          History           General Policy Statement

Advisory Board By-Laws          Site Equipment           Frequencies          Talk Groups           

Commissioners         Links

General Policy Statement


Countywide 800 MHz


It shall be the policy of the Pickaway County, Ohio 800MHz Advisory Board, under the authority of the Pickaway County Board of Commissioners, to grant approval to appropriate public safety/service agencies to use the Pickaway County 800Mhz radio system.  Approval shall be granted in only one of four categories as defined within this document. 

PRIMARY SYSTEM USERS: shall be entitled to all privileges and rights as prescribed by the Advisory Board, Primary System Users have the right to procure and maintain talk group(s) within the system for the exclusive use of said Agency.  Primary System Users must meet the following criteria:

1.  The Agency is headquartered in Pickaway County OR; said Agency has a public safety/service contract agreement with a governmental entity located in Pickaway County AND;

2.    The Agency’s regular service area includes a portion of Pickaway County, AND;

3.   The Agency utilizes a Public Safety/Service Answering Point physically located within Pickaway County as a Public Safety/Service Answering Point for dispatching services.

4.   System users in this application shall be classified by their respective affiliation with a governmental agency.       

PRIMARY- A:  City and County local governmental agencies to include All Police, Fire & EMS agencies;

         PRIMARY- B:  Local Schools, Public Transportation, Townships, Villages and Others.   

SECONDARY SYSTEM USERS: shall be entitled to limited privileges and rights as prescribed by the Advisory Board.  Secondary System Users shall NOT be given talk group(s) within the system for the exclusive use of said Agency.  Secondary System Users must meet the following criteria:

            1.   The Agency provides a mutual aid service which includes a portion of Pickaway County, AND;

            2.   The Agency is a Public Safety/Service Agency, AND;

            3.   The Agency has the legal status to enter into contract with Pickaway County.

SHARED SYSTEM USERS: shall be entitled to limited privileges and rights as prescribed by the Advisory Board.  This excludes the right to maintain talkgroup(s) within the system for the exclusive use of said Agency.  These agencies must utilize another radio system as their primary communications means, independent of Pickaway County system, for the purpose of public safety/service radio communications and are desirous of limited access to Pickaway County’s systems for the purpose of interoperability communications and/or redundancy in case of primary system failure.  These Agencies shall allow limited access to agreed talk groups/frequencies within their system and may be granted limited use of talk group(s) within Pickaway County’s system.  Shared System Users must meet the following criteria:

            1.   The Agency’s regular service is largely outside of Pickaway County, AND;

            2.   The Agency is a Public Safety/Service Agency, AND;

            3.   The Agency has the legal status to enter into contract with Pickaway County.

TEMPORARY SYSTEM USERS: shall be entitled to limited privileges and rights as prescribed by the Advisory Board. 

For the purpose of definition, public safety/service agency shall meet the criteria of the definitions laid forth in Federal Communications Commission Rules and Regulations, Part 90, Subpart B - Public Safety Radio Service.  Public Safety/Service Answering Point (P.S.A.P.) shall meet the criteria defined under Ohio Revised Code 4931.40 (P)


Adopted: 7-16-97       Revised: Effective: 7-21-10        Authorized by: 800 Adv. Board

Advisory Board Members           History           What is 800MHz ?

        Advisory Board By-Laws             Site Equipment              Frequencies         Talk Groups          

Commissioners             Links



Countywide 800 MHz




Adopted:  7-16-1997                               Effective 07-16-1997                            Revised: 07-21-2010   

Authorized by:  800Mhz Advisory Board and Pickaway County Commissioners



Article I:                       Purpose. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .       1

Article II:                      Object  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .     1

Article III:                     Membership . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    1

 Article IV:                    Terms of Office  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .     1

 Article V:                      Structure of the Advisory Board . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .      2

Article VI:                    Duties   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    2

Article VII:                   Responsibilities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3

Article VIII:                  Meetings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    4


1.1       The purpose of the Pickaway County, Ohio 800MHz Systems User Group Advisory Board      (hereafter referred to as “Advisory Board”) is to act as a liaison between the Pickaway County Commissioners and the users of the Pickaway County 800 Mhz Radio Communications System. 

1.2       The Advisory Board shall work closely with the 800MHz System Administrator to ensure the development of a countywide radio plan which meets the needs of  the users.

1.3       The 800MHz System Administrator shall be responsible for the professional management, technical and supervisory work for the 800MHz Countywide system. The System Administrator shall manage the overall operation, installation, maintenance and repair of the system.


 2.1       The Advisory Board shall advise the Pickaway County Commissioners to ensure the Radio System is effectively utilized to benefit the Users and the public through its use.


 3.1       All appointments to the Advisory Board shall be by resolution of the Pickaway County Commissioners.  


 4.1       Initial appointments to the Advisory Board shall be as follows:

            A.        3 year appointments,

                        Representative from County EMA

Representative from County Sheriff

                        Representative from County Engineer

                        Representative from City Police

                        Representative from City Fire

                        Representative from County Commissioners to serve “At Large”

         B.    2 year appointments

                        Representative from County Firefighters Association for Fire Service

                        Representative from County Firefighters Association for Emergency  Medical Services

C.    1 year appointments

Representative from County Schools & Public Transportation                         

4.2       Upon expiration, each of these terms shall then become a 3-year appointment.  Members may serve more than one consecutive term. 

4.3       Members of the Advisory Board shall serve in their appointed positions until any of the following occur: 

            A.        The member resigns his or her position;

            B.         The Advisory Board, by majority vote, requests that a member be replaced due to nonattendance or illness;

            C.        The member is no longer associated with the community of interest which enabled him or her to be appointed to the Advisory Board.

            D.        Expiration of appointment.

           E.         At the discretion of the Board of County Commissioners

 4.4       The Advisory Board shall notify the Pickaway County Commissioners when a   replacement member is required.


 5.1       The structure of the Advisory Board shall consist of Nine (9) members and shall be composed of individuals that effectively represent the broad range of users of      the radio system.

 5.2       The Advisory Board shall elect a Chairman, a Vice-Chairman and a Secretary among its members each January.


6.1       Duties of the Chairman: 

            A.        The Chairman shall preside over all regular and special meetings and preserve order and decorum.

            B.         The Chairman shall make appointments to all committees as necessary.

 6.2       Duties of the Vice-Chairman: 

            A.        The Vice-Chairman shall conduct meetings in the absence of the Chairman. 

            B.         If the Chairman resigns or is caused to be removed from office, the Vice-Chairman shall serve the remainder of the term as Chairman.

 6.3       Duties of the Secretary:

            A.        The Secretary shall keep accurate minutes of all regular and special meetings.

            B.         The Secretary shall be responsible for maintaining all correspondence of the Advisory Board.

            C.        The Secretary shall maintain a current copy of all procedures, rules and regulations of the Radio System and have them available at all regular and special meetings.

            D.        The Secretary shall notify all members of the Advisory Board of any special meeting called by the Chairman.

 6.4       Duties of the Members: 

            A.        To attend all regular meetings.

1.         Three (3) or more unexcused absences in any calendar year may result in removal from the Advisory Board.

            B.         To accept appointments to committees and to adequately discharge the responsibilities thereof. 

            C.        Observe and comply with the Rules and Regulations and Bylaws of the Advisory Board.


 7.1       The Advisory Board shall work closely and directly with the System Administrator to promulgate Standard Operating Procedures to govern the operation of the Pickaway County, Ohio 800 Mhz Radio Communications System.

            A.        The Standard Operating Procedures shall provide guidance for operating the radio system during the normal operations of the participating agencies.

 7.2       The Advisory Board shall recommend Rules and Regulations to govern items such as maintenance, changes and improvements, replacement of equipment, and vendor requirements for                   the radio system to the Pickaway County Commissioners.

 7.3       The Advisory Board shall monitor the use of the Radio System to ensure adherence to the Standard Operating Procedures and the Rules and Regulations     adopted by the Pickaway County Commissioners.

7.4       The Advisory Board shall notify the Pickaway County Commissioners of any violations of the Standard Operating Procedures or the Rules and Regulations, and    recommend corrective actions.

7.5       The Advisory Board may recommend new or revised standard operating Procedures and Rules and Regulations as required.

7.6       The Pickaway County Commissioners shall be the final authority in the event of disputes which cannot be resolved by the Advisory Board.


8.1       When transacting business, a simple majority of the members of the Advisory     Board shall constitute a quorum.

8.2       The order of business shall be determined by the Chairman.

8.3       The Advisory Board may recommend the amendment of the Bylaws by a two-  thirds affirmative vote of the entire Advisory Board.

8.4       Meetings shall be regularly scheduled.

8.5       Special meetings may be called by the request of the Chairperson.  Notification shall be made by the Secretary 24 hours in advance of the meeting by phone.


 Advisory Board Members           History            What is 800MHz ?

            General Policy Statement           Site Equipment           Frequencies       Talk Groups             

  Commissioners            Links


Site Equipment


Countywide 800 MHz


The Countywide system is a ten (10) Channel -Harris/EDACS - 800MHz Trunked Communications System.   The system will support both analog and digital voice. 

Plans to migrate to a P25 Trunked System are being considered as funding becomes available.

wpe1.jpg (31499 bytes)

The backbone in housed in a prefabricated concrete communications shelter. This structure was built by Miller Structures in Elkhart Indiana, per specifications created by the 800 MHz Advisory Board

Backbone Support Services are provided by W/S Electronics,Xenia, Ohio

Backup emergency power is provided by a emergency generator.

The system antennas are mounted on top of a 450' guyed tower. 

The tower was manufactured by Central Tower in Newburg, Indiana


System Radio Frequencies

(1) 851.0375      (2) 851.3125     (3) 851.6500      (4) 852.0625     (5) 852.6250

   (6) 853.5625      (7) 853.8750     (8) 852.2625      (9) 853.6375     (10) 853.9250

Scanner listeners- these frequencies must be programmed in this exact order as they appear here.


Call sign  WPJM556

Advisory Board Members            History         What is 800MHz ?

General Policy Statement         Advisory Board By-Laws          Frequencies           Talk Groups     

Commissioners         Links



Countywide 800 MHz




Advisory Board Members          History           What is 800MHz ?

General Policy Statement           Advisory Board By-Laws            Site Equipment          Frequencies      

Talk Groups             Commissioners




   Brian S. Stewart       Jay H.Wippel        Harold Henson

    Brad Lutz, County Administrator

Patricia Webb, Clerk

139 West Franklin Street

Circleville, Ohio   43113



Advisory Board Members           History             What is 800MHz ?

General Policy Statement         Advisory Board By-Laws           Site Equipment         Frequencies      

Talk Groups             Links

System Talkgroup Information


800 MHz

Countywide Communications System

Below is a list of some of the more common talk groups being used on the system and how each is set up to be used.

Countywide Talk groups

CW*COM A          CW*COM B 

These are the two common Countywide talk groups that are programmed in ALL radio units on the system. These are to be used as needed to develop a mutual aid between any or all agencies on the system.                         They are referred to as Countywide "Alpha" & Countywide "Bravo"         

CW*EMERG     This is an "Emergency Only" calling talk group that is programmed in ALL radio units on the system. This is set up to be used just like dialing 911. This will allow any user on the system to have direct access to a 911 dispatcher to report an emergency.

EVENT*1 thru EVENT*10     These are common Countywide talk groups that are presently being programmed in ALL radio units on the system. There intended use will be for larger scale incidents to develop a mutual aid between any or all agencies on the system. THIS IS A WORKS IN PROGRESS AND NOT YET FULLY COMPLETED

Law Enforcement Talk groups                    

SO DISP 1      Dispatching for Sheriff's Patrol Units  

SO DISP 2      Dispatching by the Sheriff's Communications Center for Village Police Depts.                     

CPD DISP      Dispatching by Circleville Police Patrol Units

Law Enforcement Common Talk groups

LE*COM A       LE*COM B      These are the two common law enforcement commons to be used Countywide  between the various law enforcement agencies.  They are referred to as Law Enforcement "Alpha" & "Bravo"(examples of use would be when officers from different agencies that are working incidents or special details,surveillance,etc.)                               

RECORDS     Shared talk group among the Circleville PD  & Pickaway County Sheriff. This talk group will allow field units access to local records and wanted checks. May also be used as tactical for LEADS and NCIC inquiries during needed times as well.

Fire & EMS Talk groups

FD*DISP      This is the main dispatching talk group used to dispatch Fire and EMS agencies  with in the city and county.  This talk group will be shared between the County and City dispatchers.  FD & EMS departments will receive dispatches, acknowledge runs and respond to an incident on this talk group. They can then move to a fire ground tactical talk group as needed.

Fire & EMS Common Talk groups

FD*GND A      FD*GND B        FD*GND C       FD*GND D       FD*GND E

These are the five (5) fire ground common tactical talk groups. They are referred to as Fire Ground "Alpha", "Bravo", "Charlie",  "Delta" & "Echo" These talk groups, as with all of the fire ground talk groups, are set up for FD & EMS units to use to communicate on while at the scene of an incident. They may be used by a single department or for a mutual aide among several different  departments. These talk groups can be requested by an Incident Commander and are soon to be assigned by a geographic region.

Each fire department in the county will also have an assigned tactical talk group that is exclusive to their agency.   This talk group will be used for that department to handle miscellaneous radio traffic on.

SF*COM      This is a talk group know as Safety Forces Common and is set up as a common link between Law Enforcement and Fire/EMS agencies. This will be used in the event that communications is necessary between the two. It can also be used by Law Enforcement. Fire or EMS as an additional tactical talk group should it be needed. Direct communications with Med-Flight Helicopters are handled on this talk group. 

Other Local Government Common Talk groups

HWY*COM     This is a talk group know as Highway Common and is set up as a common link between all highway, road and street department type agencies with in the county   Includes County Engineer, Township Road Depts. and City / Village Street Depts.  Different agencies that may be working together may communicate on this talk group. Also weather information broadcasts, road closing, etc. may be on this talk group.

CITY*COM   This is a talk group know as City Wide Common  It is set up as a common link between all City of Circleville agencies.   Such as City Service Dept. talking to City Police or City Fire Dept. talking to City Water Department. Any agency within the City of Circleville can communicate with another city agency.

Other local government talk groups will be made available as users come on line with the system.


Advisory Board Members           History            What is 800MHz ?  

General Policy Statement           Advisory Board By-Laws           Site Equipment           Frequencies      

       Commissioners           Links