New Jersey tries out new communication system

Emergency Management Alert, December 30, 2008

Burlington County, NJ, has begun using a new, more comprehensive communications system, which allows officials to talk to a variety of emergency personnel, including police officers, firefighters, officials at the National Weather Service, and even power company personnel, all on one radio system.

The county is the first civilian agency to use the system, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. The County Office of Emergency Management was approached by L3 Communications Systems, which develops technology for the U.S. Navy. The company offered Burlington a free trial and installed consoles in September.

Since the 9/11 attacks and Hurricane Katrina, emergency personnel have struggled to find a communications system that links multiple departments. This system allows numerous agency heads to be connected simultaneously. People at emergency scenes can even broadcast to the radio system.

Although nearby Philadelphia installed a similar system worth $62 million in 2002, many have complained of constant malfunctions, according to the article. Investment in the L3 system would cost roughly $750,000, and would require no new investment in radios.

For the full article, click here.


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