11:00pm

Mon July 14, 2014
Lexington/Richmond

Public Safety Agencies Gearing Up with New Radio Technology

Credit Stu Johnson / Weku radio

Fayette County public safety agencies are tuning in to a new emergency radio network.  The digital radio system allows for seamless communications among first responders and offers clear reception inside buildings county wide. 

Blue Grass Airport Public Safety Director Scott Lanter says the new technology is already proving to be helpful.  "With these last couple of incidents we've had over the last several months, my instant commanders have talked directly to police and fire instant commanders and there by cutting out the dispatch portion, which a lot of time facilitates direct information, coordination for response and exactly what we expect when they arrive and vice versa, what they expect from us once they get on the scene," said Lanter.

Enhanced 9-1-1 Supervisor Scott Osborne says the old system had poor coverage in south Fayette County.  He says the digital system has been tested to include boat crews on the Kentucky River.  In fighting crime, Lexington Police Chief Ronnie Bastin says the radio technology could lead to successful resolutions sooner.  Community Corrections Director Rodney Ballard says the digital system allows for quicker response for medical emergencies.  "We're gonna be able to change channels and call the fire department directly and say, for an example, it's a false alarm fire, there's no smoke, proceed with caution, or we have an inmate who's suffering a massive heart attack.  So, they know what they're coming into before they get on the scene" said Ballard.

The digital system has been operating in some capacity since April.  Police Chief Bastin says the old system has been upgraded and patched several times.  But, he says it had "gone to the end of its life."