Upgrading the Westbrook emergency radio system eliminates lifeless spots

Upgrading the radio link has eliminated between six and eight dead areas in Westbrook where portable public safety radios were not working.

“We had a lot of blind spots in the city. It made it very difficult for the officers as their transmissions in these areas were often garbled and it was not known if they were in trouble or had routine radio communications, ”said Police Captain Steve Goldberg. “The officers on site couldn’t communicate with each other even if they were on the same property. The officers definitely felt unsafe. “

Public safety communications director Greg Hamilton said that emergency radio communications are handled by five radio towers connected by fiber optic links. With link upgrades, security guards now see improved communication and no more dead spots where their hip radios couldn’t receive or send messages.

The city signed a 60-month contract with the low-priced Spectrum for the upgrades at $ 3,060 per year.

“In general, the problem would manifest itself through the portable radio,” said Hamilton. “The car radio from the cruiser or truck radio is much more powerful.”

The city is also set to replace 30 key boxes in police and fire trucks, which will provide access to emergency key boxes in the city for about $ 29,000. The boxes enable the police or fire brigade to have quick access to a building such as a large residential complex without having to wait to be unlocked or damage the building in the event of a forced entry.

Goldberg said the key boxes save time and potentially life.

“Some situations are urgent and we would have to kick down a door – for example a crime against a person or someone who is in a serious medical emergency,” said Goldberg. “Our officers will often try to wake up other tenants or employees who may be able to let us into the building. We have had a few situations where officers had to kick down a door because someone had a serious medical emergency or had just attempted suicide. “

In addition, the fire department will get a narcotics safe for the EMS supply room, said the deputy fire department chief Sloan. The safe secures controlled substances when they need to be removed from an ambulance where they are also kept in a safe, he said.

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