Latest News

A Message from the outgoing President

Patrick Lau

Posted on September 21, 2020

Dear Safer Buildings Coalition Members 

Time flies. It has been an honor to be on the Safer Buildings Coalition Board of Directors of for the last three years. During this time, I have served as Member At Large, Vice President and, most recently, President.

These three year have been full of amazing experiences and have given me a lot of professional satisfaction. During my tenure, I have come across some of the most passionate, talented and experienced professionals in our industry, and I am proud to be part of this highly motivated team. I am deeply grateful to have had the opportunity to lead such a dedicated and skilled team that represents different companies and categories of the Public Safety segment market. 


SBC Member RF Solutions Hosts BICSI-Accredited Webinars

RF Solutions Hosts BICSI-Accredited Webinars

Posted on September 21, 2020

We are delighted to announce that Safer Buildings Coalition member RF Solutions will host a BICSI-accredited webinar (1CEC) — “Fundamentals of In-Building Public Safety Systems” – on September 23rd at 2pm EDT and October 1 at 11am EDT. Chris Godwin, Chief Technology Officer, and Lisa Jardine, Director of Communications, will present. These webinars are recommended for anyone interested in expanding their knowledge, including electrical contractors, cable installers, inspectors, consulting engineers, building owners and developers.


Fundamentals of In-Building Public Safety Systems: September 23, 2020

Fundamentals of In-Building Public Safety Systems: October 1, 2020


The NEDAS Virtual Symposium Is in the Books – Check out the Special SBC Session


Posted on September 21, 2020

The NEDAS Virtual Symposium took place Sept. 8-10. The online event brought together thought leaders and other prominent players in the industry and featured a wide variety of informative sessions covering topics of interest to everyone in the industry as well as virtual networking and exhibit space.

The event also offered SBC the opportunity to present a very special panel discussion, which featured the entire SBC Board of Directors, including the new members elected just last month. 


Event Alert: Tessco/SBC Public Safety DAS Series


Posted on September 21, 2020

We are delighted to announce a Tessco-Safer Buildings Coalition special event series

Join Tessco, SBC leadership, local AHJs, et al for the first installment of the Public Safety DAS Regional Event, covering the Southeast Region September 29-30. 

This two-day event has a jam-packed agenda filled with panel discussions and presentations from Tessco, SBC, and industry-leading suppliers focused on best practices for COVID-19 safety, streamlining public safety deployments, trends in the marketplace, RF best practices, local code requirements for public safety DAS solutions, and much more!



A Message From Leann Rhimes...

A Message From Leann Rhimes...

Posted on September 21, 2020

Last month, DEA ASAC Hank Shrader - aka Dean Norris, of Breaking Bad-fame, had a special message to the SBC members. 

This month, another A-lister – Country Music’s Leann Rhimes – sends a greeting to you:


Watch or Re-Watch Chief Jeff Johnson’s Keynote from the Safer Buildings Coalition Virtual Members’ Meeting

Chief Jeff Johnson’s Keynote

Posted on September 21, 2020

During last month’s Safer Buildings Coaltion Virtual Members’ Meeting, the attendees were treated to an absolutely cannot-miss keynote speech by Chief Jeff Johnson, CEO, Western Fire Chiefs Association


A Message From the New Safer Buildings Coalition Board President – We Need Your Help

Eric Toenjes

Posted on September 21, 2020

Please watch this special message from the newly-seated SBC Board President, Eric Toenjes, of Graybar. Eric talks about the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for our organization – and explains how you, our members, can help us reach our objectives.


IWCE Virtual Day One - 9-1-1 Location Accuracy Takes Center Stage

Tuesday Features a Packed In-Building Agenda 

IWCE Virtual

Posted on August 24, 2020

By John Foley, Managing Director, Safer Buildings Coalition

IWCE Virtual had a strong start today, featuring a packed schedule of keynote speakers, conference sessions, open sessions, and plenty of networking on their new virtual platform. 

Two highlights of the day were the Keynote by Chief Jeff Johnson, CEO of the Western Fire Chiefs Association, and an expert panel entitled Location-Based Services - Possibilities, Privacy and More, moderated by Ken Rehbehn of Omdia.

The platform worked very well, and the Safer Buildings Coalition is excited to host three panel discussions and a VIP Roundtable in Tuesday's Session.

Throughout the event, SBC Leadership is available in the Exhibit Hall section of the event, and available to schedule one-on-one 20 minute meetings.

"When, as an incident commander, I hear over the radio Mayday Mayday Mayday, I've fallen through the floor. I have got to know where those crews are, I've got to know where to send the RIC team to get them. Getting that floor right getting the left and right access before they are getting that right is paramount for public safety. "

- Jeff Johnson, CEO, Western Fire Chiefs 

LTE's Role in Public Safety

Jeff Johnson laid out the future of Public Safety Communications in his 30-minute keynote. He pointed out the similarities of 9-1-1 callers needing to call for help from inside buildings, to First Responders needing to remain in contact through each incident.

"What we're seeing with LTE is it's proving itself to work. And if you can weave together Public Safety's need for reliability and coverage, and in-building penetration, and reliability. Then, what technology, it is tends to be moot", said Johnson. "We have to get the call, and then have the ability to communicate on our way to the call so you can quickly see that there's no way to disentangle the conversation about LTE, and LMR. There is no question in my view that LTE is the future. When it happens? Here's when it happens."

"Public Safety will switch to LTE exclusively the day some Lieutenant in a fire station says to his Battalion Chief, when he says “Why do I carry two devices when all I ever use is my LTE device?” That's when it changes. It isn't when you technically match requirements, it isn't anything else. It's when the people that use the tool insist on this tool. Because at the end of the day, we can't fail."

Chief Johnson also gave a shout out to the Safer Buildings Coalition while highlighting the need for 9-1-1 in-building location accuracy.

"I also want to thank the Safer Buildings Coalition for their work on improving in-building communications", said Johnson, "because at the end of the day if your tool works sometimes, you quit using it. If your car only starts every third time you get a different car. So, we can't have our tools stop working as we enter a building, it's just not functional."

"So, in-building coverage is important. And, and we have to continue to improve in building coverage and we have to frankly continue our work on the z axis. The z axis, the vertical axis, knowing what floor police officer paramedic or firefighter are on, that is in fact the holy grail of what we're trying to do here. When, as an incident commander, I hear over the radio Mayday Mayday Mayday, I've fallen through the floor. I have got to know where those crews are, I've got to know where to send the RIC team to get them. Getting that floor right getting the left and right access before they are getting that right is paramount for public safety. It creates for the first time, true situational awareness."

Location-Based Services - Possibilities, Privacy and More

The 3 PM ET slot featured location accuracy experts Kevin Kay, Director of State and Local Programs for NAPSG, Michael Martin, CEO of RapidSOS, and Susan Metcalfe, Partner, Potomac Law Group. The session was moderated by Ken Rehbehn, Directing Analyst, Critical Communications for Omdia.

The group explored location accuracy from a technical, regulatory, financial and legal persepctive. 

Safer Buildings Coalition IWCE Virtual Line-up for Tuesday, August 25 

Check out what we have in store for IWCE:

Public Safety DAS – Focus on Network Infrastructure
Tuesday, August 25, 2020 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM
Hear several OEMs and other experts discuss DAS and BDAs for public safety and the current state of the Emergency Responder and Radio Communications Systems (ERRCS). In-building wireless has become an integral part of critical infrastructure for both first responders and citizens, and the marketplace for in-building coverage has expanded dramatically, with FirstNet, new materials and processes in cabling, and new jurisdictional requirements. Review technologies for smarter buildings such as BDA integration, digital DAS solutions, passive hybrid and fiber architectures, key parameters such as DAQ, SINR and RSRP and future readiness for 5G and FirstNet. In addition, examine interoperability, DAS in the TDMA and simulcast systems, how to coordinate with city systems to mitigate noise.

John Foley
Managing Director
Safer Buildings Coalition

Alan Leffler N5AFL
RF Systems Consultant
EMR Corp.

Michiel Lotter
Nextivity Inc.

Matt Lunny
Sales Engineering Manager
Comba Telecom

Fernando Sommariva
Director of Engineering
Fiplex Communications, Inc.

Measuring Indoor Radio Coverage: Ensuring NFPA Code Compliance and Addressing Interference
Tuesday, August 25, 2020 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
As more AHJs adopt and increasingly enforce requirements for sufficient performance of their radio networks in building, there is significant focus on "best" testing requirements. Hear how stakeholders can stay abreast of any updates for the requirements (NFPA 1221 and IFC 510) to stay compliant. In addition, as BDAs are being used in situations that they were never designed for them, examine various types of interference attributed to bad BDA (ERRCS) system design. Discuss about both technical reasons and jurisdictional issues, as well as explore the best RF practices for ERRCS, with emphasis on survivability, alarms and electrical code requirements to connect with public safety.

John Foley
Managing Director
Safer Buildings Coalition

David Adams
Director of Business Development

Mike Brownson
Director, IBW Business Development
Westell Technologies

Michelle Geddes
Public Safety Communications Director
City and County of San Francisco, Department of Emergency Management

Roger Paje
Senior Product Manager

Feel Safe Inside: Solving for Wireless Dead Zones in our Schools and Universities
Tuesday, August 25, 2020 4:30 PM to 5:30 PM
Tragic active shooter incidents and now the pandemic have brought increased attention to the critical need to improve school safety. From flexible hours to contact tracing, the connectivity needed for both in-person schools and distance learning has changed. Smaller groups, location tracking, video calls, and higher bandwidth affect the teachers, administrations and students. In addition, a key area cited for improvement is in-school wireless communications is the connection between first responders and the schools. This cross-stakeholder panel explores the challenges and approaches necessary to address this crisis facing our country from the perspective of parent, school safety, technologist, government, and public safety officials.  

John Foley
Managing Director
Safer Buildings Coalition

Dennis J. Burns
Business Development Manager
Advanced RF Technologies, Inc. (ADRF)

Justin Daniels
President of the Center for Campus Fire Safety, and Fire Marshall
University of Oklahoma

Paul Timm
Vice President
Facility Engineering Associates

Additionally, SBC Managing Director John Foley will take part in the VIP Roundtable: In-Building Wireless session Tuesday morning at 10am.

For more information about the IWCE Virtual conference, please visit the IWCE website:

We are also manning our virtual booth at the IWCE exhibit floor throughout the event, so please drop in for a chat.

We are looking forward to seeing everyone at IWCE Virtual.




Posted on August 21, 2020
By Mikkel Schultz, Senior Editor

The in-person version of IWCE 2020 — and thus the Safer Buildings Coalition Annual Members' Meeting  fell victim to the COVID-19 pandemic. But that would never stop us from celebrating our members and everything we've accomplished together. So the 2020 Safer Buildings Coalition 2020 Members' Meeting went virtual. Instead of getting together in Vegas as originally planned, we all hung out virtually on Tuesday afternoon. 

Our members are everything  and we truly loved seeing each one of you via your webcams. Thanks to all of you who joined us. We had a blast!

We will make the entire meeting available for on-demand viewing very soon, but in the meantime, these are some of the highlights of the 2020 Safer Buildings Coalition Members' Meeting.


A Message From the President: Believe in Our Mission, Work Together, Accomplish Greater Things.

Patrick Lau

Posted on August 21, 2020

Hello everyone. 

As I write this, we have just completed Safer Buildings Coalition’s Annual Members’ Meeting.  Alas, we weren’t able to see each other in person this time around, but I really enjoyed spending time with all of you virtually.  

With our big event in the books, and my term as SBC Board President coming to an end, I’d like to take this opportunity to reflect on some of SBC’s accomplishments this past year, as well as some of the tasks, challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. 


From the Chief’s Corner: Taekwondo and the Emergency Responder Communications Enhancement System (ERCES)...

Alan Perdue taekwondo

Posted on August 21, 2020

Whom do I believe? Whom do I trust?  Who really knows what they are doing?  These are some of the comments I most often hear from the AHJs, license holders, and building owners about the industry. 

This issue really came to light recently when I received a call from a developer. He had a situation on one of his sites where one integrator, who also sold ERCES systems, conducted a site evaluation test and informed him that he would need ERCES in all the buildings on his project. Not feeling good about his experience on-site with those conducting the test, he then had another test conducted by a third-party testing firm who evaluated the same site – but determined that systems were not needed in the buildings as there was sufficient signal to provide coverage within the buildings.

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