EMCC - Radio Comms

In case of emergency (24/7):

(817) 607-7020

MERC-02 has been awarded to Parker County Hospital District/Lifecare EMS

The Mobile Emergency Response Communications (MERC) trailer project is a comprehensive mobile Command/Communication system designed to supplement or replace communication systems when needed. The MERC trailer includes satellite telephone/internet connectivity, a cell phone booster system, VHF and UHF public safety radio repeaters, UHF/VHF/700-800 public safety radios, UHF/VHF/HF Ham radio, security camera system, and DirecTV satellite system.

The MERC may be deployed outside the Receiving Agency’s jurisdiction on a Department of State Health Services (DSHS) mission assignment.  On a DSHS state mission, the Receiving Agency’s operational costs may be reimbursed per separate agreement(s).  Other federal, state, and local provisions may also apply.

The Receiving Agency maintains authority for daily use of the MERC.  If other jurisdictions issue a mutual aid request for use of the MERC, and the MERC is available, the Receiving Agency will provide priority support to jurisdictions within Trauma Service Area E (TSA-E), Emergency Medical Task Force Region 2 (TSA-C, TSA-D, and TSA-E), and with follow-on consideration to support requests from other regions, the state, and the federal government, provided that the need for the MERC in the Receiving Agency’s jurisdiction does not outweigh the need elsewhere.  Requests for a MERC deployment outside the Receiving Agency’s jurisdiction will be routed to the Receiving Agency in compliance with Texas Emergency Management Act, Chapter 418, Texas Government Code, and the Texas Disaster Act of 1975.

Final authority for the deployment of the MERC rests with the Receiving Agency.

  1. February 1st, 2018:  RFP Issued
  2. March 1st, 2018:  RFP Prospective Offerors’ Meeting
  3. March 8th, 2018:  RFP Question Submission Deadline (answers posted upon receipt)
  4. March 28th, 2018:  RFP Submission Deadline/Opening of Bids
  5. April 20th, 2018:  Notification of Award

Contract begins upon MERC transfer to Receiving Agency.

The Receiving Agency shall:

  1. Sign the Texas Department of State Health Services Non-Expendable Personal Property Report Form (Form GC-11) and Property Transfer Record when the MERC is acquired from NCTTRAC
  2. Participate in state and regional training and exercises, including operational exercises and drills organized by NCTTRAC. The Receiving Agency will participate inat least one regional or state exercise or activation per program year.
  3. Participate as a mutual aid partner to cooperative agencies by providing the MERC and operator personnel on a 24/7/365 basis.
  4. Participate as an active member of the Regional Emergency Preparedness Committee of NCTTRAC.
  5. Register and maintain MERC equipment and operator status in NCTTRAC’s crisis applications, includingWebEOC and EMResource.
  6. Register and maintain contact data for Receiving Agency administrative personnel responsible for MERC operations in EMResource
  7. Register the MERC in the Texas Regional Response Network (TRRN).
  8. Maintain the MERC in a ready state for emergency responses.
  9. Store and maintain the MERC indoors whenever not in use to protect sensitive communications electronic equipment.
  10. Participate in NCTTRAC communication drills at least once per quarter. This is in addition to the requirement for participation in at least one state or regional exercise or activation per program year.
  11. Train personnel to operate and maintain the MERC and associated equipment.
  12. Using standard Hospital Preparedness Program-specific inventory forms and processes, conduct an annual or special inventory of the MERC and ancillary equipment upon request by NCTTRAC. NCTTRAC will provide technical and/or staff support to Receiving Agency during the inventory process as requested and available.
  13. Notify NCTTRAC if replacement of damaged or non-functional equipment is required.
  14. Notify NCTTRAC and update EMResource if the MERC is taken out of service and is not available for regional deployment or state mission assignment.
  15. Notify NCTTRACof any needed upgrades regarding the MERC. System alterations, including radio and satellite system reprogramming, must be approved by NCTTRAC to ensure regional and state consistency.
  16. Notify NCTTRAC of any recommended changes to MERC-related communication response capabilities.
  17. Provide minor equipage as needed for use within the MERC for purposes such as administrative support and cleaning.
  18. Develop a communications team that encompasses most if not all of the following skills: Public Safety radio experience, knowledge of radio repeaters, amateur radio tech license, preferably a general class license for HAM operations, knowledge of networking and Internet Protocol (IP) phones, and understanding of satellite communications.  Radio Operators (RadO), Communications Technician (ComT) and/or Communications Leader (ComL) team members preferred with staffing level for 24 hour operations.  The preferred team should be comprised of one ComL overseeing one ComT technician and two RadO personnel per operational period for the duration of the mobilization.
  19. Maintain insurance or other means of replacing the MERC and issued ancillary equipment as provided under HPP funding. If insurance is provided by a third party policy, Receiving Agency will provide to NCTTRAC a copy of the Certificate of Insurance, and forward such revised certificate whenever renewed.
  20. Be responsible for repair / replacement of equipment that is broken, damaged, or missing due to misuse, negligence, theft or outside of normal lifespan expectations.
  21. Perform and document the completion of planned, preventive, and corrective maintenance and repairs to the MERC and ancillary equipment as indicated in the manufacturers’ operations and maintenance manuals.
  22. Radio frequency programming must be maintained and updated as systems are changed in the region to ensure adequate interoperability.
  23. Follow manufacturer warranty procedures to complete repairs as may fall under the warranty and as directed in the manufacturers’ operations and maintenance manuals.

NCTTRAC shall:


  1. Allow the MERC to remain in the possession of the Receiving Agency for the Term of the CONTRACT with the understanding that the Receiving Agency will commit to its responsibilities as outlined in this CONTRACT.
  2. Monitor the performance of the Receiving Agency in regards to performance under this CONTRACT and advise the Receiving Agency of any and all concerns regarding performance.
  3. Conduct an annual inventory of all Equipment, as identified in Exhibit “A,” and provide results to DSHS or as required by special audit. NCTTRAC will provide technical and/or staff support to Receiving Agency during the inventory process as requested and available.
  4. Provide copies of manufacturers’ manuals and warranty statements upon the execution of this CONTRACT.
  5. Support appropriate planned costs of operation of the MERC for HPP-sanctioned exercises conducted inside and outside the Receiving Agency’s jurisdiction and within the geographic boundaries of Trauma Service Area E and EMTF-2, when allowed under DSHS HPP contract and as mutually agreed by both the Receiving Agency and NCTTRAC.
  6. Provide monthly communications service costs as DSHS HPP contract funding will allow to include the following services:
    1. MSAT
    2. VSAT
    3. DIRECTV

Proposals will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Contractor Organization
  • Agency Structure
  • Response Plan and Staffing
  • Certifications
  • Maintenance and Liability
  • Experience and References


Proposal Response Format

Each section of the RFP must be clearly identified.  A three-ring binder divided into sections as outlined below will be sufficient.  Additional copies may need to be made, so please do not use any sort of permanent binding.

All proposals shall include the following sections, labeled with the corresponding number and section title:

1.  Contractor Organization
  • Describe the structure and organization of the Offeror, indicating mailing information and physical location of administrative offices.
  • Provide the physical location proposed for housing the MERC.
    • Provide detailed information describing its’ suitability to regional response, efficient staffing needs, and security of the MERC.
    • Provide a map clearly marked with this physical location, as well as other locations of the primary personnel that will be responding with the MERC.
    • Photos and/or diagrams of the building or location are encouraged.
  • If the Offeror proposal includes other partners for supporting assets (equipment and/or personnel), indicate their relationship and the mailing and physical location information requested above.
  • Describe all existing mutual aid agreements for mutual aid and/or disaster response.
  • Ensure that all Eligible Contractor Criteria is addressed appropriately in the proposal.
2.  Agency Structure
  • Identify the individual(s) in your agency who will be assigned to this project, their roles, and their location(s), with contact information.
  • Identify who will be responsible for the overall project management and quality assurance.
  • Identify any resources that your agency deems relevant in the management of this project.
  • Describe agency’s service coverage area and population.
3.  Certifications
  • Include in this section a list of the number of personnel per shift, by position and location/station who would help staff the MERC.  Indicate any special certifications or training included but not limited to COM-T, COM-L, RADO, Motorola, ICS, and Amateur Radio.
4.  Maintenance and Liability
  • Please elaborate on agency’s capacity to maintain the MERC and ancillary equipment in an operational status per manufacturer’s standards.
  • Please provide a statement indicating the ability to provide comprehensive and liability coverage insurance on the MERC.  The MERC total value is $150,000 with all ancillary equipment as issued.
  • Please provide a current certificate of insurance or a copy of current insurance coverage.
5.  Experiences and References
  • Describe agency’s experience in providing emergency communication and incident support for regional and local incidents and planned events.
6.  Response Plan and Staffing
  • Describe agency’s response plan to full staff MERC and respond on a no-notice (short notice) event.
  • Identify anticipated response time (from NCTTRAC notification to en route) for full crew and MERC to deploy from designated housing location.

All questions concerning this RFP must be in writing via mail or e-mail by the deadline in the Event Schedule of this RFP.  Please submit your questions to the RFP point of contact.


Jacob Seil, jseil@ncttrac.org

600 Six Flags Drive, Suite 160

Arlington, TX, 76011

Answers to submitted questions will be posted here without identifying the agency asking the question(s).  Answers will be posted as the questions are received.


Q.  Who is responsible for funding repairs to the MERC trailer or equipment?

A.  The host agency is responsible for funding repairs to the MERC trailer and equipment.  The host agency has the option to make a request for funding from the Regional Emergency Preparedness Committee (REPC) in order to pay for needed repairs.  However, the power to approve such funding requests lies with the REPC voting members and not with NCTTRAC staff.


Q.  What are the reimbursement parameters for a MERC deployment?

A.  The reimbursement parameters for a MERC deployment depend upon the type of deployment.  For a regional deployment, reimbursement will follow procedures outlined in existing mutual aid agreements between the requesting agency and the host agency.  For a state deployment, reimbursement parameters will be established in the State Mission Assignment (SMA) that is distributed by the State of Texas.


Q.  When describing the “Proposal response format”, the RFP says the following: “Ensure that all Eligible Contractor Criteria is addressed appropriately in the proposal.”  What is the referenced eligible contractor criteria?

A.  The “Eligible Contractor Criteria” is referring to “Responsibilities of the Parties” (Section IV), “The Receiving Agency Shall” (Part A).  In other words, you should ensure that your Proposal addresses how your agency will meet all of the enumerated responsibilities of the receiving agency.


One each, Comprehensive Communications trailer unit

Trailer prime equipment includes:

  • One trailer with installed Onan diesel generator, pneumatic mast, and onboard HVAC
  • 100 gallon diesel tank
  • Onboard air compressor system


Ancillary equipment and supplies include:

  • One 50 Ft. 110vAC, 15 amp Shore Line Power Cable
  • Two Harris VHF, UHF, 700 / 800 MHz public safety radios
  • One Yaesu FT857 HF, VHF, UHF radio with auto tuner
  • One 4 Ft. 110vAC Generator to Chiller Unit Power Cable
  • One spare tire with exterior mount
  • One tool box with hand tools, spare parts, and cables
  • Two 27” television monitors
  • One 14” security monitor with security system
  • One auto-rotating DIRECTV antenna and tuner
  • One Motorola UHF radio repeater
  • One Motorola VHF radio repeater
  • One VSAT internet / VOIP satellite communications system
  • One Network switch
  • One 110vAC to 12vDC power inverter
  • Two 2’ x 4’ folding tables
  • Four folding chairs
  • Two portable air conditioning units
  • Four wired CISCO VOIP phones
  • One wireless CISCO VOIP phone
  • One Wi-Fi / cellular access point
  • One ATT / Verizon / Sprint PCS cell system booster
  • One MSAT satellite voice communications system
  • One Zumro tent system with hitch cargo tray


Total unit acquisition value of above items for insurance purposes is:  $150,000.00


NCTTRAC’s Radio Communications program is focused on developing a redundant communications network throughout HPP partners in TSA-E.  NCTTRAC helps hospitals and other HPP partners develop their own redundant communications systems by providing radio equipment, hosting training courses, and running monthly redundant communications drills.  Hospitals under the HPP agreement can contact NCTTRAC to receive amateur radios, public safety radios, antennas, and coax cable for installation.  NCTTRAC hosts radio-focused courses at least once per quarter, and works with the North Central Texas Council of Governments to help bring in courses such as COM-L and COM-T.


Crisis Communications Coordinator

Jacob Seil
(817) 607-7010



Ham Radio Technician Licensing Course

The Ham Radio Technician Licensing Course is designed to prepare students to take the FCC Technician License Exam.  The course lasts for three days: the first two days are instructor-led lectures based on the content covered by the FCC Technician License Exam, and on the third day students will take the FCC Technician Licensing Exam.

Upcoming Courses

Tuesday, August 21 – Thursday, August 23, 2018 – Register here

Licensed Ham Radio Operator Course

The Licensed Ham Radio Operator Course is a half-day course designed to give ham radio operators hands-on, practical training in actually operating an amateur radio.  All students must hold a Technician License or higher prior to the start of the course.  Instructors will guide students through actually communicating on a ham radio, troubleshooting basic problems, and understanding ham radio structure and systems in TSA-E.

Upcoming Courses

Wednesday, July 25, 8:00 – 12:00 – Register here


NCTTRAC hosts a Redundant Communications Drill on the last Friday of every month.  Hospitals who are part of the Hospital Preparedness Program are required to participate in at least one drill per quarter, but all health care coalition partners are encouraged to participate. These drills are designed to help health care coalition members test various redundant communications methods to ensure that their equipment is operational and interconnected to regional communications systems.  The intent is for all health care entities to be able to communicate with one another in the event of phone and email failure. Redundant Communications Drills are held on the last Friday of every month from 10:00AM to 12:00PM.  Exceptions are made in November and December, when holidays force the NCTTRAC to schedule the drills in the middle of the month.  Please see the “Drill Dates” tab for upcoming drills.
  • Jurisdictional Commercial Radio – If you have a commercial radio to test as part of the monthly communications drill, please make prior arrangements with your local jurisdiction to arrange the test.  Your jurisdictional representative will need to send an email to jseil@ncttrac.org  confirming the date and method that contact was made (with you copied into the email).
  • Amateur Radio – Amateur radio testing will be conducted via a directed radio net through NCTTRAC.  Please see the table below.  We will be conducting a Roll Call by county at the beginning of each group’s time slot and using Tactical Call Signs for facility identification.
  • DFW-Wide – If you have a DFW-Wide system you may contact either us or your local jurisdiction.  If you contact your local jurisdiction then the rules for credit are the same as for the Jurisdictional Commercial Radio. DFW-Wide will check in using the assigned time slots listed in the table below by County.
  • DFW-Connect – If you have the DFW-Connect Overlay, you may check in with us on the NCTTAR-C Talkgroup, or you can check in with your local jurisdiction and have them email us at jseil@ncttrac.org.
  • Satellite Phones – For those testing satellite phones, contact NCTTRAC EMCC at 817-607-7020 during the drill (10:00a.m. to 12:00p.m.).
  • MSAT – For those that have MSAT systems please contact NCTTRAC EMCC on the NCTTRAC1 talk group. Please do not use the MSAT to dial 817-607-7020 for drilling purposes.
  • WebEOC – Log-in to the NCTTRAC Server of WebEOC (https://webeoc.ncttrac.org/eoc7/default.aspx), find the incident for the Redundant Communications Drill, and create a post in the “Local Medical Events” board that contains your name, facility/agency, and a line confirming that you are checking in to the Redundant Communications Drill.
Friday, July 28th, 2017, 10:00AM – 12:00PM (Complete) Friday, August 25th, 2017, 10:00AM – 12:00PM (Complete) Friday, September 29th, 2017, 10:00AM – 12:00PM (Complete) Friday, October 27th, 2017, 10:00AM – 12:00PM (Complete) Friday, November 17th, 2017, 10:00AM – 12:00PM (Complete) Friday, December 15th, 2017, 10:00AM – 12:00PM (Complete) Friday, January 26th, 2017, 10:00AM – 12:00PM (Complete) Friday, February 23rd, 2017, 10:00AM – 12:00PM (Complete) Friday, March 30th, 2017, 10:00AM – 12:00PM (Complete) Friday, April 27th, 2017, 10:00AM – 12:00PM (Complete) Friday, May 25th, 2017, 10:00AM – 12:00PM – Upcoming Drill Friday, June 29th, 2017, 10:00AM – 12:00PM
Check-In Times
  • Group A: 10:00 – 10:30
  • Group B: 10:30 – 11:00
  • Group C: 11:00 – 11:30
  • Group D: 11:30 – 12:00