Montgomery County’s Emergency Radio Systems Mission “on observe” | WDVM25 & DCW50
Several “busy” signals were reported
by: Shennekia Grimshaw
Posted: Dec 10, 2020 / 1:05 PM EST
Updated: December 10, 2020 / 5:46 PM EST
MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (WDVM) – Over the past year, the Montgomery County’s public safety radio system has experienced multiple interference, causing many channels to fail. Although it might take a while to get a new system in place, public safety officials say they are on the right track.
The system that first responders use to communicate with each other is over 17 years old. Officials say having properly functioning radio systems is critical as it enables the county’s 911 call center, which involves police, fire departments, ambulances and others.
Since the recent mishaps, a new project has been discussed to prevent dangerous errors from happening again. The county’s public safety committee is currently looking for ways to prevent outages like one of the worst – when around 1,200 busy signals occurred in 14 hours.
22 new towers were proposed to the committee months ago, but have been put on hold in the Bretton Woods neighborhood of Georgia Avenue due to community concerns.
“Obviously we know we’ve had some trouble in the past and it’s really wonderful to see through the package that things are back on track,” said Nancy Navarro, Montgomery County Councilor.
Officials say systems are out of date and should be updated 10 years ago.