A new radio system is getting one step closer to helping emergency workers respond faster in case of a disaster.
Three towers and over 2000 radios; the new $12 million dollar communications system for emergency personnel in Houston County operates on the exclusive frequency band mandated by the federal government. Dothan Police are fully transitioned to the new system.
Dothan Police Chief John Powell said, “This radio system as it is configured, has been built out. We have virtually no dead spots in the city, very limited dead areas in the county; that's being addressed currently.”
The plan is to rollout the new digital system to other cities in Houston County as well as the sheriff’s office and the Houston County EMA by the end of the year. This will be the first time Dothan firefighters have their own individual radios.
Dothan Fire Department Captain Chris Etheredge said, “We will be more effective. Each staff member, as well as each off duty firefighter and on duty firefighter will have their own radio, can monitor traffic, and major events and should a recall be needed, they will respond with their radios rather than having to check one out of the surplus inventory.”
Chief Powell says they hope to take the digital radio system one step further.
“We want to make the project a regional radio system. [We want to] bring in other counties that are contiguous to ours; Geneva County, Henry County, Dale County, even Jackson County down in Florida and get everyone working off the same sheet of music.”
With a tower system that is self-sufficient and meets hurricane standards, citizens can look forward to quick response in the event of a natural disaster.