County 911 board preps for radio rebanding
By Stephanie Johns
Members of the Morgan County 911 Advisory Board discussed radio rebanding requirements, replacing the recorder at the 911 Center and an upcoming study of the county’s radio system during their September meeting.
Board Chair Huey Atkins shared that they are finalizing the rebanding process.
He explained that in an attempt to create more radio frequencies, the federal government has cut frequencies in half. For example, the old radio frequency would be 155.400 while the new one will be 155.400.05.
He added that not all older radios are able to receive these “half frequencies.”
“The county and city are having to invest in radio equipment to let them meet this requirement,” he said.
Atkins said that they will beat the federal deadline of Jan. 1 by two months.
“We wanted to do this process early in case we have any problems, we can get them addressed,” he said.
The tornado sirens also have to be updated or replaced to meet this requirement as they are activated by radio.
Atkins said they have to replace the recorder in the 911 Center that is used to record all calls and traffic that come into the center.
“It’s approaching five years of age and starting to have problems,” he said.
As to the study of the county’s radio system, Atkins said that a consultant group has been hired to do a study of the radio system county-wide, from police, fire, and EMS, to the county Roads and Bridges Department.
The consultants will speak with people from all of the departments that use radios, then they will provide a recommendation as to what needs to be done to improve the current system.
Atkins said they are looking for a radio system that is capable of growing with the county as it grows and in particular to beef up some of the “dead spots” to improve radio traffic in those geographic areas.
Atkins shared that they are adding two more radio dispatch positions to split the noon to midnight shift throughout the week. He added that these two positions are being added during the peak hours as the 911 Center gets most of its calls in the afternoons, early evening, and nighttime through midnight.
Printed in the October 4, 2012 edition.