Back in 2019-2020, we reported on the construction of that public-safety radio tower in Myrtle Reservoir Park, built alongside the older one it replaced, which has since been removed. It’s part of a radio-network upgrade that dates back to a nine-year, quarter-billion-dollar levy passed by voters in 2015. Today brought a milestone for the system, known as the Puget Sound Emergency Radio Network (PSERN) – Seattle Police and Fire radio communications made the analog-to-digital switch this morning. That caught some scanner listeners off guard (ourselves included, as well as at least some of the popular online services), when the usual channels suddenly went silent. We’re now in the process of upgrading our equipment – so for a few days, we REALLY appreciate texts about sightings of sizable SPD responses (206-293-6302). It’s not just SFD and SPD – other agencies around the county are using PSERN as well. PSERN’s website says the upgrade is intended to “provide improved coverage, capacity, and reliability, as well as incorporate limited conventional VHF and UHF interoperability capabilities, primarily in the mountains, for connection to other response agencies, such as search and rescue.” As we reported in 2019, the Myrtle Reservoir Park tower is one of more than 60 comprising the network; the old tower on the site was part of PSERN’s predecessor, the King County Emergency Communication System.
West Seattle, Washington