Radio Upgrade Planned for Collingswood Fire Department

Fire Chief Keith Davis says the county is providing new 700 MHz devices that will replace its existing technology at no cost to the borough.

It's the difference between talking to someone outside the building and talking to someone across the county, Collingswood Fire Chief Keith Davis said.

That's the order-of-magnitude improvement that the new radios to which the department is upgrading offer.

As part of an overhauled Camden County emergency communications system, Collingswood firefighters will receive a one-for-one replacement of their existing radios. 

Every firefighter is issued a radio, and every firefighting apparatus in the department has a mobile radio and four portable units, Davis said.

The new equipment is being issued at no cost to Collingswood, Davis said. It was paid for by a $35 million allocation approved by the Camden County Freeholders in November 2011

The upgrade will bring the county into compliance with a Federal Communication Commission (FCC) mandate to migrate all emergency services communications to narrowband technology.

The new models will operate on the 700 MHz band, "which is going to be a much greater communications system," Davis said. 

In a fire, "communication is our lifeline, basically," Davis said.

"If someone’s in danger and they need help and their radio doesn’t work, it could mean a life in that situation."


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