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EMS Director Jeff Coulter made an interesting statement during Monday night’s radio demonstration at the Spencer County Fiscal Court meeting — “All this seems like training issues and not radio issues,” Coulter said.
This being the perception of miscommunication between the sheriff and EMS radios and the radios of the city police and the local fire department.
Demonstrations at Monday night’s meeting showed that once everyone has everyone else’s frequency (which Sheriff Buddy Stump said will happen as soon as he gets some signed memoranda of understanding) communication across departments will be possible.
However, it will not be as user-friendly as it was before the county made the switch to NXDN technology.
Don’t misunderstand — for those who can hear the digital radios, they are crystal clear and seem to have a better range than the analog, but even when all the kinks are ironed out, the city police and local fire department will not be able to monitor – or listen to – the sheriff’s and EMS radios unless they purchase digital radios with the same technology.
But back to the training.
Any time a new system is implemented, training is required. And the reality of the situation is that the county’s new system has caused other agencies to need a bit of training as well.
I’ll bet that the sheriff’s department will say it’s the other agencies’ responsibility to train their guys and gals on how to communicate. And I’ll bet the police and fire departments will say the county should provide insight on its new system.
But I’ll say this: there will come a day when someone in this community needs all of these agencies to work together and that person or group of people won’t care who trained whom, but only that when they called 911, the response was timely, efficient and potentially lifesaving.
So, whatever it takes, let’s make that happen before training issues and radio issues become life-threatening issues.