West Pierce Fire & Rescue Transfers to New Radio System

University Place, Wash. – This week a new digital 800 MHz radio system was put into place to allow better communications among fire departments within Pierce County. This new system will improve safety and emergency communications, and allow agencies to talk to one another without difficulty.

“Our current radio network was established around the same time cell phones first became commercially available, over thirty years ago. I couldn’t imagine still using my first cell phone. It is an amazing leap forward in technology,” said Jim Sharp, Fire Chief for West Pierce Fire & Rescue.

“With their old VHF radio system West Pierce firefighters in University Place could not communicate directly with firefighters operating in the southern part of Lakewood. The new radio system eliminates that problem. The clarity of the new radios is a vast improvement and crews are now able to talk to each other no matter their location throughout the county.”

Funding for the radio upgrades was dedicated through the 2011 ballot initiative that was passed to create South Sound 911 and develop a county-wide radio system. The new technology gives responding units seamless communication abilities by repeating radio signals from multiple radio sites.

“We are very excited to finally be operating on the new radio system. It will greatly improve safety for our firefighters and the community,” Chief Sharp added.

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