Florence Co. moves ahead with emergency radio system updates

Florence upgrade includes scanner encryption

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - Florence County is moving forward with a $13 million upgrade that will help you get you help when you call 911.

The money will be used to improve the county's emergency radio system. While funding for this project won't start rolling in until May, County Chairman James Schofield says moving forward with it is not a problem.

"Motorola has set up a contract, there is no interest on it and we don't have to make the first payment for a year. It takes a year to build the equipment anyway," said James Schofield, Florence County Council Chairman.

Today we found out it why it will take $13 million to update the current system.

"The radios in the car - some either have to be replaced, some have to be what they call  flashed, and their programming updated; they'll be some new radios also," said Schofield.

Schofield said in addition to those needs, transmitters and their towers will also have to be updated to broadcast the new digital signals.

When all the updates are finished next year the county will have six emergency broadcast digital towers covering the county.

"We want to get it moving as fast as fast as possible so that we have little down time on the old system," said Schofield.

The new emergency radio system is expected to be up and running by this time next year.

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