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New radio system promises safer community

CFA regional radio dispatch service launched at Whiteheads Creek.

CHALPAT SONTI June 25, 2014 3:11am

Whiteheads Creek-Tarcombe fire brigade captain Scott James explains the finer points of the new system to Victorian Emergency Services Minister Kim Wells.


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Better safety for local communities has been promised following the launch of a new CFA radio system.

The Regional Radio Dispatch Service was officially launched at the Whiteheads Creek-Tarcombe fire station last week.

The key feature of the system, which will cost $66 million to roll out across the state, is that it will allow firefighters on the ground to talk directly to the Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority (Triple Zero) and the Vicfire dispatch service.

At present, many brigades have to use an intermediary, usually their communications officer.

‘‘What it does do is give us voice clarity to our people through the digital radio network,’’ CFA chief executive Mick Bourke said.

‘‘It gives us reach to 500 brigades who couldn’t be reached before to dispatch.

‘‘It’s a very, very important system.’’

It would also mean better safety for communities and firefighters, he said.

The system has been operating in District 12, the Mitchell and Murrindindi shires CFA area, as well as District 22 (Strathbogie) and four others, and is expected to be rolled out throughout the state by the middle of next month.

Victorian Emergency Services Minister Kim Wells also attended the launch and said the technology was world class.

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