Montanan digital communications system links local responders
| 11.13.2006 | 03:58:31 | Views: 2665 | ID:
November 13 '06: Local officials in Montana have announced the completion of the first phase of a new digital communications system designed to link area and state responders, the Independent Record in Helena reported. Another similar project is underway near the northern border of the state with Canada which will link the entire state under a digital communications system.
According to IR, "The new system allows seamless digital communications over about 95 percent of [Louis and Clark] County and enables peace officers, firefighters, ambulance personnel and Public Works Department officials to talk to each other. The old analog system covered about 50 percent of the county and didn't allow for communications between agencies."Radios used by the local responders would be functioning much like cell phones do - "with units bouncing signals off towers, repeater stations and microwave links across the county's mountains and valleys." About $5.975 million in matched state and federal funds from a Federal Emergency Management Agency grant were used to complete the beginning phases of the communications system. "The state Board of Crime Control put $924,000 in Department of Homeland Security money toward the project, buying radios for area volunteer fire departments," IR reported.
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