COLUMBIA, Co., (WCJB) — Columbia County and Lake City officials held a meeting at City Hall to discuss the city’s funding needs to help with compatibility of the county’s newly upgraded communication system.
The upgrade is an effort to boost the coverage area to areas where it’s limited or what they would call dead zones.
When the new system goes live, officials say it could become an issue for city and county first responders because both systems are not compatible.
Columbia County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson, Sergeant Murray Smith, said improving communication is a must and a vital component to a first responders’ job.
“In any first responder organization, whether its ems, fire, law enforcement there is a need for effective communication, we have a lot especially in law enforcement, we have a lot of tools that we use daily and probably one of the most vital tools that we use are our radios,” stated Smith.
There is some concern because many believe that this could mean heart attacks, fires, serious injuries and other incidents are more likely to end in tragedy.
Smith says the county is willing to help the city because with the constant changes in technology they need everyone to be on the same page.
“We are in the process of working with the county to look at how we would have inoperatability between the city system and the county system. We have some further investigation to do before we will be able to as a staff make any recommendations,” stated Joe Helfenberger, City Manager of Lake City.
The government shutdown caused a delay with getting the FCC to give the final approval, but the system is expected to go live any day now.