The half a million dollar system was purchased by the county in 2009 in preparation for the federal guidelines, as well as safety issues that were brought to the court concerning the emergency services not being able to get through to dispatch or each other.
It’s been a lengthy process having to be delayed on a few occasions from the beginning. Some of the delays included the county needing to wait to allow all emergency service agencies who did not receive radios through the county to acquire the funding to purchase their own. Another delay involved confusion on the capacity of a tower to hold the equipment. The county will be utilizing Pennyrile Electric’s tower off of Armstrong Street to place some of the equipment. If the system expands in the future another tower will have to be sought to hold the heavier equipment required. One of the latest delays involved rewiring a building owned by Palco that houses the technology that will couple with the county’s system.
It won’t be long, says Logan County Sheriff Wallace Whittaker, whose office has been handling the project.
A close call in Auburn involving fire chief Jeff Gregory put fiscal court on a fast track a few years ago to finding a solution to the continuing breakdown of the older system. The county’s current radio system is 11 years old and is overloaded and outdated which is causing the communication problems.
Chief Gregory had gotten into an alteration with a suspected arsonist who allegedly pulled a gun and fired it twice at Gregory. When the gun failed to fire Gregory ran and tried to contact dispatch on the radio but could not get through.
The radios will be carried by emergency service workers such as law enforcement, fire fighters, the ambulance service, jail personnel, the coroner and emergency management. These digital radios will allow for more advanced signal range throughout the county.