March 17, 2023:
The Hawkins County Digital Radio System is now operational and the project is 90% complete. On September 27, 2021 the Hawkins County Commission approved an allocation of necessary funds from the Local Government Recovery and Rebuilding Direct Appropriation Grant (LGRRDA) to provide county and city law enforcement, emergency medical services (EMS), volunteer rescue squads, 911, and emergency management (EMA) with a digital radio system. Hawkins County Emergency Management Agency immediately began the process of implementing a plan to convert the current analog radio system to digital. Over 500 portable, mobile and base radio devices were purchased along with all necessary hardware and software. The sites are linked together to provide a wide coverage area across Hawkins County. Thousands of hours have went into making this project successful from the Hawkins County Emergency Management Agency, Hawkins County Mayor’s Office, County Mayor Mark DeWitte, Former County Mayor Jim Lee, Hawkins County Emergency Communications District, Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office, Hawkins County Emergency Medical Services, Hawkins County Rescue Squad, Church Hill Rescue Squad, Rogersville Police Department, Surgoinsville Police Department, Church Hill Police Department, Mount Carmel Police Department. I would like to thank the staff of Metro Communications Knoxville, Tennessee for their support and guiding us through this process of going to digital during unprecedented radio supply and shipping issues post COVID. Also, a thanks to our other radio venders VA / KY Communications / Beeker Tower Service that has put work into making this possible and preparing our radio sites. This project has greatly improved communications and responder safety throughout Hawkins County. Thanks to the Hawkins County Commission for the allocation of the funding to make this possible. Emergency communications is always an improving technology and other plans of improving emergency communications is at various stages.