Luzerne County 911’s planned radio communications system upgrade will be discussed at six town hall meetings next week, county officials announced Tuesday.
The switch from an analog to digital system will correct complaints about interference issues on the county’s emergency radio system, said county 911 Executive Director Fred Rosencrans.
Digital systems have better quality and coverage, are more technologically advanced and easier to maintain, Rosencrans said.
The conversion also is needed because the county’s radio equipment is 20 years old and becoming obsolete, Rosencrans said.
County officials have estimated the new system will cost millions of dollars. The county administration has asked the county council to approve a capital plan that includes $850,000 toward 911 projects to upgrade public safety tower sites and radio communication.
The change impacts police and emergency responders throughout the county because they eventually will need to change their portable and mobile radio equipment so it is compatible with the new county system, Rosencrans said.
Municipalities typically have covered the cost of radio communication equipment used by local law enforcement and emergency services, while county officials must fund the overall upgrade.
At the town hall meetings, Michael C. McGrady, of MCM Consulting Group Inc., will present a strategic plan outlining the conversion to a new “Next Generation Radio System.”
Emergency service providers will have an opportunity to ask questions and discuss the next steps of the project, Rosencrans said.
The public is invited to attend.
The meetings will be held at 10 a.m. for law enforcement and 5 p.m. for fire and emergency services on the following three days:
• July 18, Hughestown Fire Department, 30 Center St., Pittston
• July 19, Sugarloaf Fire Department, 95 W. County Road, Sugarloaf Township
• July 21, Luzerne County EMA, 185 Water St., Wilkes-Barre
Questions about the meetings or strategic report should be directed to Rosencrans at (570) 826-3058 or Fred.Rosencrans@luzernecounty.org.
Reach Jennifer Learn-Andes at 570-991-6388 or on Twitter @TLJenLearnAndes.