Motorola APX Radio Upgrade, Rollout and Use Information

Motorola APX Radio Upgrade, Rollout and Use Information

Video Guides:

It’s here….physical radio upgrades will begin shortly and continue over the next several months. All current City identified radios (mobiles and portables) will be replaced across the public safety departments. Portables will be replaced with 700/800 MHz capable APX 6000 series (EMS user guide attached) and mobiles will be replaced with 7500 series (EMS user guide also attached) that offer VHF/700/800 MHz capabilities. Special teams that identified needs at the beginning of this replacement program may have a slightly different variation of the portables for operating in their specific environments.

Mobile and portable radios have been pre-deployed across the Department (along with PD, FD and Sheriffs) to work out system issues and receive feedback (and its been mostly positive and it has been noted that the mobile team has done a phenomenal job in making these new portable and mobile APX radio units intuitive to use and functional for our needs.) Vehicles added to the City fleet since September have the new mobiles already installed and some of you may have used them without seeing a difference.

This entire process began well over a year ago with a one for one replacement project based upon City asset agreements executed at that time. Assets that followed the procurement model after that time and meet with these requirements will also be upgraded. New asset agreements will need to be signed for all APX radios prior to issuance. Responsible individuals/agencies will be contacted. After the rollout is complete, assets that have not been upgraded will lose functionality on the City system.

Upgrades to EMS radios:

Radios are deployed for operational readiness, safety and response.

Facilities – All EMS facilities will be upgraded to the new system with consolettes and desk sets (this includes our partner hospitals of SVBGH, SIH, SPA). This is being coordinated by the mobile team. Every effort will be made to provide advanced notice as these upgrades occur in facilities.

Mobiles – mobile radios will be replaced with Apex 7500s. Since these radios are VHF capable and enabled, the stand alone VHF radios will be removed and no longer supported. These replacements will take place at the mobile shop and will be on a tight schedule, necessitating units being on schedule at the shop when requested. We will do our best to coordinate and assist with the movement of these units and appreciate your understanding. Sherry Swayze is the POC and will contact the squad commander/unit leader to schedule the shop time. If you remember the CAD replacement, these installs take time to be done properly. Additionally, ambulances will be outfitted with pancake antennas, lowering their profile.

Portables – The workhorse portable radio in the City will be the APX6000. Each portable radio will come complete with a spare 21.5Wh/2900 mAh battery, shoulder mic, belt holster and charger. Sherry Swayze is also the POC for these units and will contact the squad commander/unit leader to schedule the exchange once new asset agreements are executed. Please do not call and request to be at the front of the line as she is working in a tightly choreographed schedule that coordinates with the multiple entities and processes involved.

LOGON REMINDER: All assigned portables should be logged onto CAD with the Radio ID along with officer code and apparatus bumper number when on duty.  The radio ID no longer begins with VB and is found under the battery for portables and is automatically assigned by bumper number for mobiles. All released providers are expected to wear and monitor portables at a volume level that will ensure you hear your unit when summoned while on duty.

APPARATUS ASSIGNMENTS:  Apparatus and caches are the primary source to provide radios to members logged on duty apparatus providing service. Radios will have unit IDs assigned and displayed in the LCD, therefore MUST remain with the apparatus as they are deployed for the staffing of the apparatus and responder safety:

  • Ambulances will each have 2 portables assigned (AirMed will have 1) and vehicle mounted chargers installed
  • CARTS will have 2 portables assigned and cached at the station
  • Command vehicles will each have a XE portable assigned and vehicle charger installed
  • Marine rescue trucks will each have a MRT portable and vehicle mounted charger installed
  • MCI trucks will have 2 portables assigned and vehicle mounted chargers installed
  • Squad trucks will have 4 portables assigned and vehicle mounted chargers installed
  • Utility trucks / VANS will have 1 portable assigned and vehicle mounted chargers installed
  • Zone cars will each have 1 portable assigned and a vehicle mounted chargers installed

TRAINING:  User guides are attached. Training will be available for training officers and those certified providers that need or would like to review the basic functions of radio operations. Training will initially be scheduled in November and December and migrate to online based as resources are developed.

SIGNIFICANT CHANGES: There are many significant changes in this technology behind the scenes that make functionality, clarity, range, and other items superior to the old technology.  Every radio in the City is similarly programmed. Most importantly to you the layout was developed to be intuitive for prior users and easy to learn for new users.

Radio ID and Radio Name/Alias

  • The CVB Radio ID is the 7 digit number on the black tag beneath the battery
  • The radio name/alias is viewed in the LCD display and shared across all the regional jurisdictions


  • The VB Fire/EMS zone has relabeled the upper talkgroups to TAC channels and removed the single use designators. VDOT is moved to channel 14
  • The arrangement of zones has removed the zone letter/number designation, expanded the zone name in displays and put the Fire/EMS zone on top
  • Two event channels (EVENT 1 and 2) are available in the EM MGMT zone for standbys and training use
  • A MARINE MEDICAL talkgroup was added in the HOSP/LG zone
  • MRT and command portables will be able to communicate on VHF marine bands
  • EMS to hospital communications are encrypted

Softkeys/ Menu Select Buttons

  • A Control Map of the radio key functions is available in the “Info” button
  • Battery info is available in the “Batt” button
  • GPS is enabled for future communications use. You now are able to recall your Lat/Lon and time with the “Loc”


  • Modifying and exchanging the supplied antenna is prohibited
  • Voice announcements are enabled for power on and Fire/EMS zone talkgroups
  • Bluetooth capabilities are enabled
  • Messaging capabilities are initially disabled. Those capabilities will be explored with the integration of the next generation CAD

Thank you for reading, your attention and your service.

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