The county’s existing emergency radio system only covers 50 to 60 percent of the county, Powers said, adding: “This would put us well over 90 percent. There are tremendous gaps now, and in some places there is no coverage at all for our firefighters and our EMS.”
The upgrade effort has been ongoing for six years, and the county, through the efforts of Psalm Wyckoff in the county Planning Department, has secured several grants that helped pay for the new towers, officials said.
“The radio system is the last piece we have to put in,” Powers said.
Helping to advance the Tait bid is local radio expert Dean Buccheri, operator of Creative Electronics in Oneonta. He said he would be available to help the county install and maintain the equipment.
“It’s going to simplify the dispatch operations and it’s going to simplify the end-user operations,” said Buccheri, the former chief of the Laurens Fire Department. “It’s much more modern technology than what the county has now, and it’s much more serviceable. Everything they would be putting in is brand-new, and it’s a fraction of the cost of some of the other technologies.”
The final decision on whether to complete the project and the choice of the vendor will be made by the full Board of Representatives. Prior to that, the Public Safety Committee will have further discussions and will consider the Motorola proposal, Powers said.