LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - On Tuesday the Lufkin city council approved countywide radio systems for first responders to better communicate throughout the surrounding areas.
The council approved county-wide radio systems to make EMS, police and fire departments’ communication process simpler. Gerald Williamson, director of public safety police, said, “there are problems with the frequency range beyond our control. It’s just too busy now. There’s too many entities that are vying for that range of frequencies. And because of that, we have problems with our system.”
Lufkin’s fire chief, Jesse Moody, agrees.
"We constantly have the issue now of it; our radios shut off from a loose battery, that they reboot to the initial channel instead of the fire ground channel.”
Situations arose when the combined radio systems would have been very helpful.
Williamson said, “Just a week or so ago, where we had the incident towards Pollock, where the individual was running out in the county actually shot at officers.”
They are looking forward to improving inter-operability and believe that this is an important step in that direction.
"We anticipate to transfer the fire department over to that frequency system first," Williamson said.
Chief Moody says they received much-needed assistance to make this project possible.
“Thankfully, we received a grant from the Kurth Foundation for $284,000 that is going to enable us to purchase new handheld radios for the department.”
Officials say the county-wide radio systems will make EMS, police and fire department responses much safer.