My definition of professionalism always has been relatively simple. In my book, a professional is someone who gets the job done, regardless of circumstance. In order to do that, however, one must be able to nimbly adapt to the unexpected.

By that measure, Mario Basabe, a mobile radio technologist for the San Diego County Sheriff's Department, is the consummate professional. Basabe, a central figure in senior writer Donny Jackson's exhaustive account of public-safety communications during the recent wildfires that scorched Southern California (“Disaster Recovery,” which begins on page 28), needed to think on his feet and change course — both literally and figuratively — in response to changing conditions as he restored a vital base station during the crisis. What he was able to accomplish under the most trying of circumstances — and how he managed to pull it off — is nothing short of remarkable.

We're going through a period of adaptation at Mobile Radio Technology. Last month I was appointed editor of MRT and have been joined by Jackson — one of a team of talented contributing writers — and art directors Sheila Schirz and Anne Baesemann. Though it will take a little time for us to fully understand the publication and the industry it serves, I am confident you will see a notable improvement in the editorial and graphic content of MRT in the coming months, starting with this edition. The stories we present will be timelier, the writing will be crisper and the art will be more engaging. Our goal is to keep you ahead of the curve concerning how your industry is adapting and evolving. We'll not only tell you what's happening but also will take you into the inner story, by providing a sense of how and why an event occurred, and by offering a sense of the story's future implications.

While it is our responsibility to filter the news and present to our readers only the information that is most relevant and compelling, I have never believed in the “ivory tower” approach to content development. Consequently, I encourage you to keep us apprised of industry developments and to let us know what you want to see covered in the publication. While I can't promise we will act on every suggestion, I can ensure we will listen. E-mail me at

Best wishes for 2004 and beyond.