Lauderdale County Awaits New Communication System

By: Lindsey Brown Email
By: Lindsey Brown Email

Lauderdale County's E911 system experienced some problems Monday after bad weather shut down its radio communications.

Dispatchers used cell phones and back-up radios to communicate with emergency responders.

E911 is trying to make some changes that would prevent this type of problem from happening again.

"We never like it when something goes wrong, especially in the emergency field we are in," said E911 director Jared Stanley.

During Monday night's stormy weather, the radio system experienced a surge most likely from lightning that knocked out dispatchers' ability to communicate.

"The first thing you start worrying about when the radios go down are our first responders," Stanley said. "We lose the normal way to communicate with officers, firefighters and medics out in the field so that is our first concern, is how are we going to reach them to see what's going on."

It could have been worse. The 911 lines, by which citizens call for help, were still functioning.

Dispatchers first used cell phones to communicate with emergency responders and then moved to hand held radios. No emergency calls were missed.

Emergency officials want to make sure they never lose communication with emergency responders again. Hopefully, they won't have to. The Lauderdale County Emergency Management Agency is currently working on another communication system that would use the current system as a back up.

"The hard wire system is what went down," said LEMA director David Sharp. "What we will be putting down in the real near future is a wireless system that will be a redundant system, so it will have a back up built within the system."

This new communication system will be installed as soon as the parts arrive.


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  • by Anonymous on Dec 21, 2009 at 12:53 PM
    well one thing all was great until powers that be got the bright idea of combining the county and city.. dumb move... second if they are watching TV as you claim all this time why haven't you brought it up to Butler,Sharpe, or to any other high power county or city.... so like when someone say something dumb
  • by Anonymous on Dec 16, 2009 at 07:05 PM
    How wonderful it is to know that the dispatchers have a television right there on the desk. I like to know if my loved ones call 911 that the one on the other line is watching Oprah. I bet those first responders like that, too.
  • by Anonymous on Dec 16, 2009 at 06:53 AM
    the city had microwave back up when they operated out of the PD. When they made the move that made MOTOROLA HAPPY $$$$$ they did not re connect the microwave back up. DUH.... we have been operating without a back up ever since and I know I have heard from ranking officials about that problem but no one wanted to make the change. When the tower was moved to the training facility. consolidation of dispatch is a problem.. just ask the so deputies and pd officers.....and trunking is not the answer....
  • by Jake Location: county on Dec 16, 2009 at 06:12 AM
    I could be wrong BUT I believe if the powers to be would have let them put in the system they wanted 6-7 yrs ago, this type of thing could have been avoided. Again county interagencies and city weren't able to agree at that time
  • by Anonymous on Dec 15, 2009 at 08:25 PM
    grumbles.. well with all your wonderful foresight you so show you have and of course you have no trouble to cough up the moneys to keep all this up to date am sure 911 and L.E.M.A. and all the Vol. fire dept.'s would be forever grateful...
  • by Anonymous on Dec 15, 2009 at 04:21 PM
    How long has the 911 center been in operation? Can Lauderdale County only work in hindsight? Good grief!
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