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Fire departments address radio system solution

Monday, local volunteer fire departments attended the first Pearl River County Board of Supervisors meeting of the year to address a solution for the long-standing issues with their radio system.

Jim Dischinger, Commissioner for Fire District 11, spoke to the board about acquiring new radio equipment to replace the old equipment. He went on to say the departments plan to collect the total number of radios needed in every fire department, including radios mounted in vehicles, handheld radios and consoles.

“We’ve already proved the system doesn’t work. What we are doing right now is getting the exact number of radios each department needs,” Dischinger said. He added that once they get a total number, they plan to talk to Motorola to find a suitable package price.

According to the South Pearl River County Firefighter’s Association, each station conducts a radio check every morning at 9 a.m., and as shown by their fourth quarter radio checks, there are still underlying issues with the system.

Some of those issues are the worst in the area of Henleyfield, where 70 percent of radio checks are unable to transmit or require several transmissions in order for the transmission to be understood. In the areas of Nicholson, Pine Grove, and McNeil, 32 percent of radio checks also required multiple transmissions to be understood.

Sometime in February, Dischinger said they plan to go back to the board to present the costs necessary to attain the new equipment. Dischinger expects the board to be able to make a decision then.