The Safe Inside Podcast


In-building wireless dead zones – areas where cell phones can’t call 9-1-1, and where first responder radios don’t work, have long been identified as a clear and present life-safety threat. These dead zones are present in most structures: In shopping malls, big box stores, multi-family residential buildings, sports stadiums and arenas, and tragically, our schools and universities.

Since 2012, the Safer Buildings Coalition has been the leading voice in tackling this threat – through fire and building code development, policy advocacy, education, and thought leadership. SBC has been building a “Coalition of the Willing”, comprising public safety professionals, industry, building owners, and every stakeholder of interest with a singularly focused mission: The elimination of in-building wireless dead zones.

More than a decade has passed since the first model fire codes were published directing that public safety wireless dead zones be identified and corrected. Much of the basic, high-level information is available in a quick online investigation by searching words like Emergency Responder Communication Enhancement Systems (ERCES), Distributed Antenna Systems, and similar terms. The SBC Safe Inside Podcast series dives more deeply into the discussion, examining the challenges, roadblocks, frustrations, successes, best practices, and the complicated road forward.

For our first season, we are extremely fortunate to have two top experts representing the jurisdiction side of the discussion: Creighton Watley, a seasoned DAS coordinator for a metro county government and Mathew Theisz, a veteran radio operator for the District of Columbia. The series will feature our regular co-hosts Creighton and Mathew, along with special guest hosts and other industry experts, as they discuss the ups and downs of trying to do a good job in the muddle of it all. Tune in each month to join us for one of a kind ERCES conversations that connect with your ERCES truth.

Co-hosts: Creighton Watley & Mathew Theisz
Executive Producer: Charlie Fleetham

See the episodes below. And if you haven't already, be sure to subscribe to the podcast and our newsletter to be notified with the next episode is released!

The Safe Inside Podcast – EP 4 | Radio for Newbies: Putting the Puzzle Together!

The Safe Inside Podcast Episode 4

Are you new to the trade of in-building public safety communications? Have you been pulling cable for a while but looking to understand what the user equipment is doing when it communicates through an ERCES? Tune in as Matt takes Creighton to school on some foundational subjects such as: the differences between Cellular and LMR, how the band affects what equipment is used, and solutions AHJs use as alternatives or in addition to ERCES. 

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The Safe Inside Podcast – EP 3 | Fire Code Alchemy: ERCES Program Management in South Carolina

The Safe Inside Podcast Episode 3

We've spent the last two episodes talking about ERCES challenges, this time, let's be inspired by a powerful example of success!  Please join us as we discuss the state-wide ERCES program of South Carolina with Deputy Fire Marshal Nathan Ellis.  Although he and his office worked closely with the state's frequency licensees, this is a chance to hear the perspective and experiences of a fire code AHJ rolling out what has become best-in-class ERCES management.

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The Safe Inside Podcast – EP 2 | ERCES Integrators: Learning to Walk on Shaky Ground

The Safe Inside Podcast Episode 2

If someone tells you it’s easy to make money as an ERCES integrator, you should seek a second opinion.  In this podcast, we’re enlightened by Merisa Gamler, a veteran ERCES integrator.  Listen in as we run, walk and sometime tip toe through the highs and lows of deploying in-building public safety communications.  You will undoubtedly recognize all the usual suspects, but we proudly cross the plate with forecasts on the promising future of our industry and why we’ve made it our home.

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The Safe Inside Podcast – EP 1 | ERCES Requirements: Like a Box of Chocolates, You Never Know What You'll Get!

The Safe Inside Podcast Episode 1

When it comes to deploying ERCES do you ever feel like  you only get half the story before you start the job?  Knowing and fulfilling the requirements for ERCES are crucial for both good business and reliable emergency communications.  So why are they so hard to nail down?  Listen in as our panel of frustrated ERCES crusaders discusses requirement shortfalls and solutions from the local to the national.

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