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Newton EMA receives new radios through CARES Act

Published: Dec. 15, 2020 at 9:00 PM CST
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DECATUR, Miss. (WTOK) - When it comes to responding to the coronavirus, it can be complicated, so communication is key. That’s why Newton County Emergency Management Agency is excited about new radios paid for through the CARES Act.

“Thanks to the State Wireless Commission and UMC through the Mississippi Center of Emergency Services, we were able to get eight new radios from the CARES Act grant,” Newton County Emergency Management’s Hunter Dickerson explained.

The new APX 6000′s were given to multiple agencies around the state of Mississippi for better communication when it comes to the coronavirus response. Dickerson says each county received at least eight radios. They are all connected through a state network called MSWIN.

“We talk to somebody in Jackson, Desoto County or Oxford or anywhere sitting right here in Newton. We can communicate with anyone in the state. That’s especially important during something like coronavirus,” Dickerson said.

He said this comes in handy when trying to determine what hospital a patient should be transported to.

“We get status updates from UMC about whether or not ICU beds or ERs are full, so we can advise our ambulance crews,” Dickerson said. “They will be able to know whether they need to transport to an alternative destination due to the overcrowding of hospitals.”

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