Analog to Digital for Public Safety

Profiling a technology upgrade for our region’s emergency communications.
August 6, 2015

CREST provides emergency radio communications for over 50 response agencies and over 2,500 users on South Vancouver Island. On average, the CREST system receives a call every four seconds and over 7.5 million calls per year go through the system.

Prior to creating CREST, public safety organizations in the Capital Region relied over 30 different radio systems for communicating. Those systems were not designed to communicate with one another, and in many cases, critical communications links were not available. So CREST created an emergency communications system that was truly interoperable among emergency responders.

Like all things technology related, the current CREST system is about to undergo a major technology upgrade, essentially moving from an analog platform to an all-digital platform. It is referred to as a P25 upgrade and is the latest North American standard and indeed, a world class standard.

The upgrade will improve reliability, coverage and audio quality – and especially noise suppression, which is very important, for example, when multiple noise-producing emergency vehicles and procedures are happening on one scene, such as a motor vehicle accident or fire.  For the men and women who rely on their CREST radios, this technology upgrade is a game changer.

CREST approached Trapeze Communications to brand (name and logo) the new P25 upgraded system and create a video to document the impact and importance of the upgrade for users and for the public.


We named the system HRO, “modern speak for “Hero” as way of tipping our hat to the users of the system who put their lives on the line every day – police officers, firefighters and paramedics, among others. They are all heroes in one form or another – and they count on the CREST system to help them do their work. Trapeze Art Director Erynn Saunders designed a simple wordmark for HRO integrating signal strength bars into the lettering.

HRO System logo for CREST

The video features users of the system talking about the importance of the upgrade and what it will mean to their own safety and public safety. We also told this story from the perspective of a person whose life was saved in a fire and who benefited from multiple responders reaching the scene in a timely coordinated manner. We also got to shoot some sexy fire scenes and ride around in cop cars. That was fun. We even went to Starbucks with the cops.

Learn more about CREST here.