Posted: Thursday, 26 July 2012 10:39AM
Winona County Radios
Winona County emergency responder units are all on the same page now after the county completed its conversion to a new digital radio system. Mike Peterson, the supervisor of the county's dispatch center, said the conversion was completed at the law enforcement center about two weeks ago to the new 800 megahertz system.
That means all of the county's emergency responder units, including fire departments, police, ambulances, first responders, and the sheriff's department can communicate with each other on the same frequency. It also means that common at-home scanners cannot pick up the digital signals.
A new tower on Garvin Heights was also put into operation replacing the old one. Peterson said the switchover involved the purchase of 851 new radios for the first responder units with another 100 of the radios being requested.
The entire cost of the conversion has not been determined yet, but Peterson said a federal grant reduced some of the infrastructure cost by 50%. The radios were also purchased through separate grants totaling close to one million dollars.