The Union Recorder

Local News

September 19, 2013

Local firefighters communicating OK

(Continued)

MILLEDGEVILLE —

“There are certain situations where we would use the Turbos. That’s why we kept both of them until everybody gets on (the 700 system),” Bentley said.

Hall was happy all the main players heard and understood the same information Wednesday.

“I think last week we were hearing things and some of those were not correct. It created a lot of confusion that frankly we shouldn’t have had. By doing this today, we cleared up all of the issues,” Hall said. 

The county fire department has some 700 models but needs additional portables to fully integrate the entire combination full-time and volunteer department.

Future plans are to switch over to the new system. Funding shortages placed the county behind the 700-radio supply train.

Hall said a grant request to cover the radios is pending with a backup plan if the request fails. 

“If not, the county will move to purchase, lease-purchase or by whatever means we have to get those radios,” the county chairman said Wednesday.

When asked by the Union-Recorder about an exact figure, Hall said a final price isn’t established but won’t be cheap.

City Manager Barry Jarrett said last week each radio costs $3,400, originally purchased through joint city and county Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) funds.

Anywhere from a $120,000 to $170,000 price tag for the additional radios depends on final assessment, according to County Manager Ralph McMullen’s previous statements. 

Both local governments are reviewing methods to merge the fire departments as a way to eliminate similar problems.

“It goes back to being more effective and efficient,” the mayor said.

Exploring that and a 911 Authority are part of ongoing discussions.

“These things can’t be accomplished in the short term. It takes organization and planning to get this done, and we are moving forward,” Hall said.

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