Customer Spotlight

Muscatine Fire Department

TECHNOLOGIES: Two-Way Communications


The Muscatine Fire Department is staffed with full-time personnel who provide fire protection and ambulance services to the City of Muscatine, as well as fire protection and hazardous material response to contracted areas. Its ambulance service covers Muscatine, surrounding townships, and Western Illinois.

Customer Needs

For more than 15 years, the Muscatine Fire Department has relied on CEC for two-way communications solutions. Recently, staff members wanted to upgrade the existing 800MHz radio system to address some issues:

  • When firemen entered a building with a smoke alarm activated, the radio recognized and transmitted only the sound of the smoke alarm; it didn’t recognize or transmit voice.
  • Dead spots with the radios toward the outer edges of the city.
  • Poor radio range. After the department started doing ambulance transports, ambulances weren’t able to maintain contact via radios if they transferred a patient from the local hospital to a hospital in a nearby city.


CEC worked with the Muscatine Fire Department to switch from a digital 800MHz system to a digital VHF radio system. After partnering with CEC for this new two-way communications solution, the department now has:

  • Excellent radio range. The radios maintain contact during ambulance transports to hospitals that are 30 to 40 miles away.
  • A radio system that is affordable and economical enough to outfit all necessary staff members with the radios they wanted, with money left over to help pay for the two-way system IT infrastructure. 
  • Security features built into the radios. Because the radios are programmed and encrypted, conversations are secure. 
  • Digital VHF radios that offer exclusive options, like radio-to-radio private talk and text messaging. 
  • GPS that integrates with the two-way radios so the fire department knows where its rigs are at all times. The GPS system helps staff members plan ahead and determine how to handle additional calls for service.

I can’t say enough about how good CEC’s technicians are. The people integrating the two-way radio systems are amazing. They deal with issues that come up, and overcome the hurdles we run into. They are CEC’s biggest asset.


Mike Hartman Assistant Fire Chief, Muscatine Fire Department
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