New digital emergency radio system promises clear results

New digital emergency radio system promises clear results

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - Clearer communication is streaming between law enforcement and dispatchers throughout Florence County.

This comes following years of planning and a $13 million upgrade to the county's emergency radio system.

The switch is slated to be wrap up Friday, completing a project Florence county council first discussed years ago.

“Here, you have all the digital equipment,” said Andrew Golden with Florence County Emergency Management,

This new gear inside of the Florence County Dispatch Center is just one element of a multi-million dollar upgrade.

Florence County's second capital sales project is funding the safety upgrade. The update was needed because the old analogue system was outdated.

“First off, digital is way clearer. And it is able to make it so that our responders are able to communicate more clearly with each other and make sure the message is received in a way that they can understand,” Golden said.

If you have ever listened to a police scanner, you may be familiar with the white noise that's often loud and obnoxious in the background. Florence County's new digital signal not only eliminate this interference but also another.

“Analogue was a little less clear and you had spotty coverage in different areas of the county,” Golden said.

This new tower is one of two elements helping to eliminate those spotty areas and helping to relay the new digital signal being rolled out this week.

Tuesday, law enforcement officers and dispatchers began using the digital signal.

“Right now, what they are doing down in dispatch is switching all the old equipment to the new computers,” Golden said.

That switch comes easy to dispatchers because the new digital system somewhat mirrors the old analogue system, although these dispatchers did receive new training.

County leaders say the new signal will help improve overall communication when you may need it during an emergency.

By the end of this week all fire crews, officers and every county agency using radios to respond will be switched over to that new clearer digital signal.

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