Dufferin to look into county-wide emergency radio communication

December 22, 2017   ·   0 Comments

By Jasen Obermeyer

Dufferin County will look into an inter-operable radio communications network that could be used county-wide for emergency services, to provide better and faster communication.

At last Thursday’s (Dec. 14) county council meeting, councillors discussed a report from the General Government Services (GGS) Committee dealing with a request for a county-wide radio system.

The request has come from fire chiefs in Orangeville, Shelburne, Grand Valley, Mulmur-Melancthon and Rosemont, to have the county commit $127,000 for the development of the radio network, so all emergency services are on one radio frequency.

Emergency service agencies, including firefighters, police, and paramedics, responding to life-threatening incidents within the county are currently unable to speak directly to each other on the same radio frequency channel, making communication difficult and slow.

“We all believe strongly in the importance of inter-operable radios,” said Councillor Ken McGhee, chair of GGS Committee. “It’s the most effective way to do it.”

Councillor McGhee later told the Citizen they need to ensure the radio system, if approved, is foolproof, easier, and better to use.

The request for county staff to investigate the feasibility of the project and report back to the committee was unanimously approved by council. The report will be brought back sometime early next year.

Council also discussed the issue of the Provincial Offences Administration (POA) Court possibly being moved from Orangeville to Caledon.

Correspondence from the Amaranth and Shelburne Police Services Board requested that the court remain in Orangeville.

Shelburne Mayor Ken Bennington told council of a report from Shelburne Police Chief Kent Moore that Shelburne required a total of 91 such court sessions this year.

“If we loose the POA here in this building, we estimate a direct impact on the Town of Shelburne Police.”

“I think we all understand the value of POA court in Dufferin County,” said Melanchthon Mayor Darren White.

Mayor Bennington said if the POA is moved to Caledon, Shelburne Police will see an increase of $5,000 in fuel, as the travel distance from Shelburne is double that to Orangeville.

Council unanimously approved the request, and will bring back a report in the new year.


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