Cousin Billy was a Chicago firefighter and our family’s favorite son. Part icon, part hero, part myth, he became a larger-than-life legend the day he climbed out of the rubble. He was in a building fighting a fire one day when the roof collapsed, burying him and his comrades. As the story went, he was the only one to survive, though he was badly injured. For years, at every family gathering, the story would be told, over and over, until Cousin Billy became our Paul Bunyan.
Over the past five years, the editorial focus of MRT has shifted to covering communications for the public-safety, military, public-transportation and public-utility sectors. As the evolution unfolded, we began to cover much more than wireless voice communications, giving heed to both established and emerging wireless data communications as well, from remote-control and monitoring systems used by utilities to video-surveillance systems used by law enforcement.
In addition, where MRT once was devoted nearly exclusively to technology coverage, its editorial team now spends much of its time writing on topics related to operations and policy. It is our philosophy that technology never develops in a vacuum; rather, operations and policy issues have a profound effect on how — and even whether — technology evolves. As a result of this evolution, we decided that the publication needed a name that was more in step with what it already had become. I’m pleased to announce that MRT will become Urgent Communications beginning with the August issue.
We’re quite excited about the name change, which we believe not only provides a clearer picture of the publication’s editorial focus and direction, but also aptly describes the communications that its readers are working to provide. For instance, when an incident commander uses his walkie-talkie to tell firefighters to get out of a burning building because the roof is about to collapse, does it get any more urgent?
That said, it is important that we also make something crystal clear from the beginning of the transition: Land-mobile radio always has been the foundation of public-sector communications, and it will continue to be the foundation of our coverage. It is critically important for any organization to recognize its roots, and this publication’s roots are — and always will be — in LMR.
We hope you’ll like the publication’s new name and its new look, and wish you continued good reading.