JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Craighead County and area emergency officials are working on a plan to upgrade the county's radio systems, with supporters saying a long-term upgrade is definitely needed.
The Craighead County Quorum Court approved a request to spend $13,000 to upgrade the dispatch consoles for volunteer fire departments in the county.
Supporters are wanting to integrate older technology for county dispatch to be able to answer and hear one another with a headset instead of using a desk microphone.
A Brookland firefighter, John Burns, said the situation is a quick fix and not a long-time solution to dangerous problems with the system.
"The money that we are asking for tonight will not fix the dead spots and the static and the feedback that we have in the system that will have to be fixed with other money," Burns said.
Jonesboro E-911 Director Jeff Presley said the current system has been around for over a quarter-century, with little to no changes in the system.
The upgrades will take more research, money and grant opportunities to fix the problems, Presley said.
Craighead County OEM Director David Moore said the upgrades are something that rural fire departments have needed for years. Right now, each of the fire departments uses a single console that is not patched into the dispatch console at the police department.
The system will be better, Moore said, noting the upgrades are expected within the next month or so.
Justices also approved the second reading of a nepotism-related ordinance.
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