HC administrator Partain updates commissioners on digital radio system

The Hart County Board of Commissioners is one step closer to having a digital radio system that will make the job easier for those using it and safer for emergency personnel and residents.

County Administrator Terrel Partain gave an overview of where the process was at and what the county would achieve by going digital to commissioners at Tuesday’s meeting.

This is something that’s been in the process for 2 ½ years. The bottom line on why we need this is the public safety people, the public works people, the school system, all are lacking greatly when it comes to capabilities of radio communications. I’ve talked unofficially with the board of education and the cities and come up with an idea to let’s approach this as a group because you can buy 400 radios cheaper than you can buy 20 radios,” said Partain.

Partain said the county had already purchased the frequencies needed to provide the entire county with sufficient channels.

We bought the frequencies back in May I believe it was. We can take those three frequency pairs and have enough of a digital system to supply the whole county school system, the county, the cities. There would be enough room on that system to handle everybody,” said Partain.

The county administrator said he had reached a point in the process where he could start talking to other county entities about the joint proposal and how much money would be required.

I think we’re at the point now where we can go sit down and discuss minute details with the other entities so we all know what kind of money we’re talking about. Depending on if the list I’ve got for them is correct, that’s going to be adjusted up or down. They may not need as many as they thought they did or they may need a few more radios than they thought,” said Partain.

Partain said the whole emphasis on going to the new system was focused on safety.

Basically everybody’s got one frequency apiece. Take law enforcement for instance They’ve got the regular stuff that’s going on all the time. If they’ve got a chase going on and everybody’s talking over it, they need private channels in there where they can switch off to private channels where the people that need to be involved in a certain situation, because if you’ve got somebody involved in a chase and you’ve got somebody keying over it about unlocking a car while the deputy’s involved in a chase, it’s dangerous,” said Partain.

Partain also said similar situations could arise for firefighters actively involved in a fire as well.

Partain also said the county spent a year testing frequencies and antennaes and the system they have chosen will eliminate all of the dead spots currently in the county.