WDAY.com

WDAZ: Your Home Team

Published April 24, 2012, 09:34 PM

Federal Mandate Means Changes to Lake Region Emergency Services

DEVILS LAKE, ND (WDAZ-TV) - Lake Region emergency services has to make some changes to comply with a federal mandate. The changes will help relieve congested radio channels nationwide.

By: Adam Ladwig, WDAZ

DEVILS LAKE, ND (WDAZ-TV) - Lake Region emergency services has to make some changes to comply with a federal mandate. The changes will help relieve congested radio channels nationwide.

It's called narrow-banding and the changes will affect every radio and radio tower first responders use to communicate within the Lake Region.

Dispatchers here at the Lake Region Law Enforcement Center handle communications for the entire region.

"We cover six counties, which is Ramsey, Benson, Nelson, Eddy, Towner, Rolette," 911 co-coordinator Starr Klemetsrud said.

But radio communications will change soon. Each radio band must be narrowed to make room for more. The Law Enforcement Center is getting help from the state to make that happen.

"The grants came through to my office. For the narrow banding it was $20,000 and for the purchasing of equipment it was roughly $169,000," Ramsey County Emergency Manager Kristen Nelsen said.

That $169,000 will go towards four repeaters to install on radio towers throughout the Lake Region. The rest of the money will help convert smaller radios.

"Those are going to be narrow-banding all the mobile radios, portable radios, base radios," Nelsen said.

The dispatchers here shouldn't notice a difference when the switch happens. Klemetsrud says it's unlikely anyone dialing 911 will notice a change in service.

"They have talked about shorter distance. We're not too concerned with it now. Some people have already gone narrow-banding, and we haven't experienced any problems yet," Jensen said.

Tags: