In 1934, the Orange County Board of Supervisors, in conjunction with the 13 incorporated cities within Orange County, created the Orange County Communications Department to provide the citizens of Orange County with a coordinated communications system to serve all the local public safety agencies of the County on an as-needed basis, with the cost of all County-provided services to be borne by the County of Orange General Fund.

The Communications Department functioned as a separate County Department reporting directly to the Board of Supervisors from 1934 until 1958, when it was consolidated in the Transportation and Communications Department. Communications was later established as a separate division under the General Services Agency. In 1996, during a Countywide reorganization, Communications was transferred to the Sheriff's Department.

The Orange County Communications System is comprised of public safety law enforcement, fire services, public works and lifeguard agencies/departments which utilize radio communications services, paramedic base station hospitals and hospitals participating in the Hospital Emergency Administrative Radio (HEAR) Network.