TULSA, Oklahoma — First responder agencies in Rogers County now have a new device that is helping them communicate more effectively.
They recently launched a county-wide radio system. Before it launched, communication among agencies was not under the same frequency.
For first responder agencies communication is critical.
“When you get called to the major crimes, or the major incidents, or natural disasters, there’s no more important piece of equipment than this radio,” Undersheriff Jon Sappington with Rogers Co. Sheriff's Office said.
Now, a four million dollar investment in 800 Harris Radios is helping facilitate that communication among Rogers County fire, abmulance, and law enforcement agencies.
“With these new radios in place, we are easily allowed to talk to any agency within Rogers County on this network, but we also have the ability to interface with Oaklawn network as well as other agencies in NE Oklahoma,” Sappington said.
Sappington said before launching this system, one agency would have to call dispatch to get in touch with another.
“An agency initiates a pursuit, and they start heading into another agency's jurisdiction, you don't have the ability to communicate, you essentially using your dispatch to talk to each other, in a high intense environment, and it’s not safe,” he said.
Sappington said the radios have enabled them to respond to areas they previously did not cover, and have increased officer safety.
“By moving to this solution, not only do we have 95 percent coverage guaranteed, but we also have inner operability amongst agencies, both in Rogers county as well as across the state,” Sappington said.
Sappington said they started the process of integrating their radios in 2016, when they consolidated the dispatch center to include nine law enforcement agencies, 13 fire departments, 2 ambulance services, and campus police.
The money to pay for the radios came through 9-1-1 fees from Claremore and Rogers county.
The only agencies not covered are Limestone Fire, which has its own radios and Oologah, which is now dispatched out of Collinsville.
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