Key Objectives of the Study Guide
- Increase industry competence
- Prepare students for NICET Certification
- Provide a pathway for workforce development
- Establish the definitive In-Building Public Safety Reference, covering:
- RF Fundamentals
- In-building design and installation core knowledge and best practices
- Identify requisite skills
- Code and standards requirements
- Level the playing field for contractors
- Provide AHJs, general contractors, and building owners the ability to identify competent vendors
- Facilitate common interpretation of codes and standards from jurisdiction to jurisdiction
- Provide a consistent working model for in-building public safety system collaborative processes
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What Others Are Saying
“In-building communications for responders and the public is now a social and operational expectation. Reliability is essential and it all begins with trained professionals who execute as if lives depend on their work…because it does. The Safer Building Coalition has built this desk reference to ensure we have the best resources to assure success. On behalf of the public safety community…thank you for this essential work!”
Chief Western Fire Chiefs Association
FirstNet Authority, Vice President 2012-2018
“As the current President of NASFM, I am proud of our role in helping to bring this important handbook to all ERCES stakeholders, and I highly recommend this handbook as an essential guide for achieving in-building public safety communications competency. I encourage public safety and industry professionals alike to rely upon it as a trusted source of objective ERCES facts, and to incorporate it into their training programs.”
Vermont State Fire Marshal, President - National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM)
"Since adopting Emergency Responder Communication in the codes, the industry has been searching for direction and assistance. This handbook is a much-needed resource and provides information for the design, deployment, and maintenance of these systems. As the current Chair of the International Association of Fire Chiefs Fire and Life Safety Section, I highly recommend this book to fire and building officials reviewing and approving life safety systems."
International Association of Fire Chiefs – Fire and Life Safety Chair
“I applaud the hard work of the Safer Building Coalition to put together all the information related to Emergency Responder Communications Enhancement Systems (ERCES) in one simple to read and understand handbook. This information is essential for all the stakeholders involved in the process to understand each other’s roles, responsibilities, and the many different technologies involved to create an atmosphere of clear emergency communications within buildings. The handbook also provides a clear and concise pathway for compliance with definitions, code requirements, and industry best standards. As an AHJ, I like that I can reference this material when a project is presented and know firsthand that the information is credible and up to date with the latest technological advancements in the industry.”
Deputy Fire Chief / Fire Marshal – Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue
President – Florida Fire Marshals and Inspectors Association
“I am extremely excited to see the Complete ERCES Handbook being launched and also to see the accompanying NICET certification for In-Building Public Safety become a reality. The book is extremely comprehensive with its coverage of standards, the physics of radio propagation, installation standards etc. and will be invaluable to newcomers and veterans of the ERCES industry. Given the importance of ERCES systems in ensuring the safety of building occupants and first responders, we can never have enough training programs available. If you are involved in the ERCES industry, I highly recommend having a copy of the Complete ERCES Handbook on your shelf.”
CEO – Nextivity Inc.
"My copy of the Complete ERCES Handbook arrived today. The word “Complete” does not do the title justice. It far exceeded my expectations. I am excited to study it and use it as a reference for future projects and for my NICET IB-PSC II. Thank you for the time and dedication you and all involved put in to make this urgently needed resource for our industry."
Boynton Fire Service
“Thanks again and congratulations on the handbook to you and all those involved! I can say that it will remain a useful tool for all involved in the ERCES process for years to come.”
Code Enforcement Supervisor
Town of Wake Forest
“Every engineer and technician working on ERCES should have this handbook in their kit. It clearly explains in-building wireless communication systems, best practices and stakeholder coordination necessary to deploy effective ERCES. Training materials for NICET certification on RF technology, FCC rules, codes and standards are excellent. Thank you Safer Building Coalition for taking the lead on this.”
CEO – PCTEL, Inc.
What is the SBC-NICET In-Building Public Safety Communications Certification Program?
In-building public safety communications systems are a crucial element of the life-safety tools first responders depend upon every day to protect themselves and the communities they serve. The people whose lives rely on fire and life-safety systems deserve and demand competent design and installation. As one of the newest elements of fire code – first entered into the books in 2009 – the industry is going through a growing phase in developing best practices and training. It can be very difficult for AHJs, radio system operators, and building owners to distinguish the experienced and competent from the newcomers. This is a scenario that demands objective, third-party verification of the skills and knowledge needed to do the job correctly.
Recognizing this need, in 2020 The National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET), in cooperation with the Safer Buildings Coalition announced a joint effort to develop a new engineering technician certification program for Emergency Responder Communication Enhancement Systems (ERCES). That program is the NICET In-Building Public Safety Communications (IB-PSC) Certification.
This certification program is designed for engineering technicians engaged in the detailing and layout, installation, and maintenance, and/or designing of in-building public safety communication systems. Technical areas covered include knowledge of radio frequency theory, equipment mounting requirements, delivered audio quality scale, business software and mathematics, communications using project specifications and documents, site survey data and design tools, and interpretation and evaluation of surveys. The program has a three-level technician track and a one-level Design track that may be used independently or together to establish minimum qualifications for appropriate roles.
Successful candidates must pass an exam or exams, complete a work history description that documents and meets specific industry related experience, successfully perform key role specific activities, and obtain personal recommendations for Level III and Design. Once earned, certification must be maintained through Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and recertified every three years.
NICET statement: “The Safer Buildings Coalition has established itself as the leading proponent for highly qualified individuals to design, install and maintain these critical life-safety systems. NICET has been very happy to have the support of the Safer Buildings Coalition to develop and launch this very important new certification program.”
For more information about this one-of-a-kind certification program for ERCES installers and designers, visit this link: NICET In-Building Public Safety Communications (IB-PSC) Certification Program
We also have a webinar replay focused on the certification here: WEBINAR | Getting NICET Certified for ERCES – In-Building Public Safety Communications Professional Development
Chief Alan Perdue (ret.), CFO, FMSafer Buildings Coalition Executive Director
Chief Perdue began his fire service journey as a volunteer firefighter with the Pinecroft-Sedgefield Fire Department and was employed by Guilford County Department of Emergency Services in 1979. He progressed through the ranks and was appointed Emergency Services Director in 2003 and after 34 years of service he retired in 2013. Chief Perdue is credentialed as a Chief Fire Officer (CFO) and Fire Marshal (FM) through the Center for Public Safety Excellence Commission for Professional Credentialing.
John FoleySafer Buildings Coalition Managing Director
John has a deep understanding of the connectivity industry, providing leadership and service for over 45 years, with particular expertise in strategy development, executive leadership, public speaking and education. As the Managing Director of the Safer Buildings Coalition, John speaks regularly on the topic of public safety communications policy; in-building wireless dead zones; NFPA 72 & 1221 and IFC 510 fire code education and development; E911 calling and location accuracy; and the National Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN, or FirstNet).
Mike BrownsonFounder, Brownson Consulting
Mike Brownson is a wireless industry veteran with 50 years in the industry. Over his career he’s been involved in a wide variety of wireless technologies including two-way radio, cellular, microwave, unlicensed broadband wireless and most recently has invested the past 15 years dedicated to Distributed Antenna Systems for public safety and cellular enhancement. Currently retired from full time employment and looking for opportunities to pass along his wealth of knowledge of ERCES best practices for installers and AHJs. Mike holds numerous industry certifications and is on the Standards Technical Committee for UL-2524.
Tools and Resources
Jurisdiction Process Toolkit
Checklist and Forms
Locate BDA equipment by Frequency, Class, 2524 Listing Status and Official Certification from NRTL.
Locate BDA equipment by Frequency, Class, 2524 Listing Status and Official Certification from NRTL.
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