Insufficient Radio Coverage for Police, Fire, and EMS
Currently multiple radio systems are used for 911 dispatch and emergency communications. First responders currently have challenges using their radios in certain areas of the county, especially when indoors.
VHF Radio Approaching end of life
The backbone of this system, used for fire department notifications and communications, is outdated. Spare parts have been collected from neighboring counties who have decommissioned their VHF systems. There are many points of failure that can result in system outages.
Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) nearing end of life
The primary software used to manage 911 responses is reaching end of life. This will require a significant investment. This system is no longer considered a premier product, as it once was.
How much would this cost homeowners?
Taxable Value* $50,000
Est. Annual Cost $49
Taxable Value* $75,000
Est. Annual Cost $74
Taxable Value* $100,000
Est. Annual Cost $98
*The taxable value is the value on which property taxes are calculated. It can be found on the property tax statement or by contacting your city/township/village/county assessor's office or viewing their web site. This number is typically 50% or less of the assessed market value.
"The VHF radio system utilized by all fire departments in Calhoun County has become undependable for fire department paging and radio communication. The reason for the VHF dependability is directly related the FCC narrowbanding that took place in 2013. Most of the VHF system is still analog and subject to static, garbled, and miscommunication of transmissions. Beyond this there’s the fact that counties surrounding Calhoun County have switched to 7/800MHz radios and the Michigan Public Safety Communication System (MPSCS)."
-Chief Steven Wart, Athens Township Fire Department
"From the lessons learned after 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina- a joint, effective and reliable communication system is key in an emergency response. Today we have a higher demand on this system, which has created the same reliability and access challenges we had in the late 1990's into the early 2000's."
-Chief Jim Blocker, Battle Creek Police Department