First responders in Wayne are able to do their job a little easier in the midst of Hurricane Irene thanks to a new digital communications system.
The new $9.5 million system allows police, fire department, first aid squad and department of public works personnel to speak to each other with greater clarity and little signal loss. The system has been in operation for about two months.
“It’s an extremely sophisticated system, far superior to the one we had," Police Chief John Reardon said. “The coverage is better, the voice clarity is better. Before you had voices break up and static, now it’s crystal clear.”
Every personal and portable analog radio in the township has been replaced with a new digital unit. The former system utilized analog technology and signal repeaters placed throughout town and a few dead spots existed.
The new system allows for individuals to speak to each other directly with greater ease through the use of talk groups.
The township’s new dispatch center in town hall has also been upgraded and moved to a more spacious location.
Dispatchers have touch-sensitive computer screens and more room to work. Each screen is dedicated to a different function, allowing dispatchers to better organize the information they are presented with. Each dispatcher is responsible for a different emergency service.
“It allows us to share manpower and better allocate the resources we have at our disposal right here,” said. Lt. Wayne Lougheed.