New network links rescue crews

A $310,000 high technology pager network is planned to boost emergency services communications on the Far North Coast.

NSW Emergency Services Minister Steve Whan announced the plan in a lightning visit to Murwillumbah to meet members of the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) and State Emergency Service (SES) on Friday.

“The new Emergency Alert pager service will assist with the rapid deployment of RFS and SES volunteers from the Queensland border to Evans Head and inland to the Great Dividing Range,” Mr Whan said.

He said the system was due to begin full operations next month and would take just seconds to deliver a message to volunteers, helping them to respond swiftly to bushfires, storms, accidents and other emergencies.

“The system allows messages to be sent not only to pagers but also the mobile phones of volunteers,” Mr Whan said.

“There is no faster method of alerting large groups simultaneously.

“The system uses a network of 14 high- powered radio sites on high points across the region, ensuring maximum coverage”.

Mr Whan also handed over a new RFS vehicle worth more than $40,000, along with two grants of $5000 for new individual pagers and a storm trailer for the Murwillumbah SES.

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