NICET Launches First In-Building Communications Certification
The National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies launched in June the In-Building Public Safety Communications certification program, an industry first.
NICET, a division of NSPE, created the program in cooperation with the Safer Buildings Coalition. The certification establishes qualifications for technicians and designers of the in-building communications enhancement systems used by first responders and emergency services personnel.
The IB-PSC program has two tracks, one for technicians and the other for designers. The technician track has three levels focusing on the detailing, layout, installation, and maintenance of in-building public safety communication systems. The track for designers has a single level. Qualified individuals can pursue certification in both tracks and will need to demonstrate the required comprehensive knowledge, performance, and experience.
In-building public safety communication systems, which are typically the responsibility of the building owner or equivalent, ensure that radio signals can penetrate into all areas of buildings, including areas that are especially difficult for radio frequency to penetrate, such as stairwells, elevators, basements, and thick-walled or shielded areas.
A number of jurisdictions, according to the Safer Buildings Coalition, have enacted or are considering enactment of local ordinances and codes with a requisite level of public safety communications reliability in building as a condition for occupancy.
One example is the New York City Building Code, which requires all newly constructed high-rise buildings come equipped with an in-building auxiliary radio communication system. ARC systems are wireless two-way building communication system for fire department use only that receive and transmit fire department portable radio frequencies within the building. The systems typically consist of a transceiver connected to a building-wide antenna system, with a radio console in the building lobby.
The Safer Buildings Coalition is creating a corresponding study guide and reference. The guide and reference will help prepare candidates for NICET certification and cover the key knowledge principles required for competence in the design, installation, maintenance, and inspection of in-building public safety communications systems.
NICET is seeking subject-matter volunteers. If you have experience with RF signaling, BDA/DAS, and emergency responder communication enhancement systems, complete the form at www.nicet.org/IB-PSC.