Originally Posted by red8
I wnnder if LPSO and DSPD will be using them for dispatch, Charlie?
As of now they are still using the 460 stuff. Don't know when or if they will switch over. I talked to a LPSO deputy the other night and he said only a few people were getting the 700 radio. Don't think he knows what he was talking about.
This is from the Livingston Parish News. from Sunday.
$704,000 grant boosts parish communications
By Alice Dowty
LIVINGSTON - Poor communications have ruined emergency response plans in the past, but the future is more secure, according to Mark Benton, executive director of the local Office of Emergency Preparedness.
"Emergency responders to the 9/11 terrorist attacks lacked the communications they needed, and the same kind of breakdown happened after Katrina," Benton said. "But now we have the communications equipment we need."
A $704,000 federal grant allowed the parish to buy and program 300 radios that will not only create a more reliable communications network within the parish, but will also link Livingston Parish with state and federal agencies, Benton said.
The programming gives agencies the capability of selecting channels that widen or narrow the field of receivers.
When analog television broadcasters cleared the 700 MHz airwaves, the Federal Communications Commission reserved a portion of the spectrum for a public safety band.
This set the stage for the creation of a nationwide, interoperable broadband communications network for the benefit of local, state, and federal public safety agencies, according to the FCC.
After Katrina, first responders were hampered by incompatible communication devices that operated on different frequencies. A first responder from one agency might have been a few blocks away from another team and not know it.
The new interoperable radios allow universal access among all emergency workers, Benton said.
"Now we can communicate, collaborate, and coordinate our response," Benton said.
Federal grants through the Department of Homeland Security allow local agencies nationwide to buy the equipment, giving them the capability of contacting their counterparts thousands of miles away, Benton said.
Redundancy makes the 700 MHz trunked digital system more reliable. This signal travels farther, so the system is less dependent on a particular set of towers, according to the FCC.
If a storm hits locally, taking down towers, the communications system can be maintained by towers in neighboring areas, Benton said.
All Livingston Parish fire departments, police departments, the Sheriff's Office, the Ward 2 Marshal's Office, the Coroner, the Parish President and mayors have received the new communications equipment, Benton said.
"This system is not just for disasters," Benton said. "Some channels are reserved for law enforcement, for example, and that helps with response to the kind of thing they deal with on a daily basis."
The system will also help fire departments call for mutual assistance.
"And in the case of a real disaster, we'll be much better prepared. The National Guard, for example, will be able to find out the trouble spots and locate resources," Benton said.