The Union Recorder

Local News

November 22, 2013

Firefighter radio switch almost complete



All key city fire staff carries two radios, MFD Chief Tom Dietrich said.

“Everybody in the department went back and starting using the Turbo radio 24/7, but battalion chiefs and staff personnel have had two radios working since we turned (the 700 radios) on,” Dietrich said. “That’s if it was necessary for us to communicate with the Milledgeville Police Department or other agencies using the new radio. Everybody did not keep them live. Just a few did on a daily basis.”

Dietrich said city fire rescue monitors the Turbo channels and assists the county immediately with “no lag in time.” 

“That whole situation is about to come to an end,” the MFD chief said.

Plans established a switch over to the new 700 system by Nov. 15.

“We did what we promised. Not only that, the radios came in by Nov. 15,” the county manager said. “There is nothing we can do but live with that agreement of how the fire departments will work together until they get on the same frequency. Right now, we are just waiting until the reprogramming is done.”

The final county price for the radios costing $2,778 apiece is just under $90,000.

McMullen said Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) funds would cover the purchase price.

“Motorola gave us a tremendous discount. We want to put our firefighters with the best in hand,” the county manager said.

Dietrich said the Turbo units will be backup radios in case of a bad storm. Both the city and county are holding on to them. 

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