Emergency radio network funding welcomed

A government decision to spend $370 million on replacing Alberta’s aging emergency radio network is being welcomed by Red Deer City RCMP.

A government decision to spend $370 million on replacing Alberta’s aging emergency radio network is being welcomed by Red Deer City RCMP.

“If you ask me, the sooner the better,” said Insp. Ray Noble of the provincial initiative designed to improve communications between first responders.

Noble said the existing radio system, used by police since the Calgary 1988 Olympics, “has exceeded its capacity.” It’s getting old and obsolete, with some breaks in communications lines and dead spots in the province where no radio contact is possible.

While the “seamless” new radio system won’t eliminate all the dead spots, it will reduce them, said Noble, who added that technology has advanced considerably in recent years.

“There are a lot of features that are useful for law enforcement that simply didn’t exist in the old technology.”

The state-of-the-art system will be designed to link RCMP with municipal and First Nations police, fire and emergency personnel, as well as sheriffs, Alberta Emergency Management Agency, and government departments, such as transportation and fish and wildlife.

Noble said the radio network will be particularly useful during an emergency event comparable to the Pine Lake tornado, when police need to be in touch with a wide array of agencies and departments, which are expanding their roles to deal with emergency needs.

“At times like that, people are pressed into duties they don’t normally do,” said Noble — such as having highways workers clearing debris off roads and relocating people off site. “There will be more interagency (information) sharing.”

Bart Rowland, deputy fire chief for Red Deer’s Emergency Services, said ambulance services have a radio system that meets most of their needs within Central Alberta. “We’re very well covered for ourselves and the municipalities.”

But the new system will offer the capacity to tie in to ambulance services, municipalities, or agencies in outlying areas, for instance in Grande Prairie or Medicine Hat.

The system will require 400 communication towers across Alberta — some replacements and some new. Construction is expected to begin this month, with the project competition in 2014.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Bloc Québécois MP Sebastien Lemire rises during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, March 12, 2021. A Bloc Québécois MP has apologized for taking a screen shot of a Liberal MP who inadvertently appeared nude during virtual proceedings in the House of Commons last week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Bloc Québécois MP apologizes for taking nude photo of Liberal MP William Amos

‘I have no idea how that photo made its way into the media’

FILE - This Sunday, June 25, 2017, file photo shows TK Holdings Inc. headquarters in Auburn Hills, Mich. A driver in South Carolina is the latest person to be killed by an exploding Takata air bag inflator. Honda says that a faulty driver’s air bag blew apart in a crash involving a 2002 Honda Accord in Lancaster County, South Carolina. The company wouldn’t give details of the Jan. 9, 2021, crash near Charlotte, North Carolina, nor would it identify the person who was killed. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)
South Carolina driver killed by exploding air bag inflator

Drivers can check to see if their vehicles have been recalled

Hospital staff shift the body of a COVID-19 patient on a stretcher to a waiting ambulance at a specialized COVID-19 hospital in Noida, a suburb of New Delhi, India, Wednesday, April 21, 2021. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)
Low on beds, oxygen, India adds global high 314K virus cases

Government rushing oxygen tankers to replenish hospital supplies

A traveler wearing a protective mask, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, walks through the nearly empty JetBlue terminal at Logan Airport in Boston, Friday, May 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Charles Krupa
JetBlue expanding wings with service to Vancouver from New York and Boston

JetBlue will have to compete with Canadian airlines

Green Party MP Elizabeth May arrives on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020. An emergency parliamentary debate that was supposed to be a forum for cross-party collaboration on better ways to combat the COVID-19 pandemic has devolved into another round of partisan finger-pointing. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Emergency parliamentary debate on pandemic devolves into partisan finger-pointing

‘Let’s work together instead of playing terrible politics in this debate’

Westerner Park’s Exhibition Hall was used as a vaccination clinic on Wednesday. A steady stream of people came to get their COVID-19 shots either by appointment or as walk-ins. Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff
No long lineups at walk-in vaccination site in Red Deer

A steady stream of people walked into Westerner Park on Wednesday to… Continue reading

Linda Tomlinson
Gardening: Leave the lawn until the soil is dry

Spring is arriving, Alberta style with warm days, cold days and snow.… Continue reading

Silent protests were held recently in response to Red Deer Public Schools’ decision to reject a Pride Week in favour of a Diversity Week. Some former employees at Red Deer Public are saying the decision is misguided. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Letter: School board silencing Pride Week concern

While it has been our practice to not comment on matters arising… Continue reading

Anderson scores twice as Canadiens down Oilers 4-3

Anderson scores twice as Canadiens down Oilers 4-3

New York Liberty guard Kia Nurse (5) shoots next to Indiana Fever's Kamiah Smalls during the first half of a WNBA basketball game Thursday, Sept. 10, 2020, in Bradenton, Fla. Nurse isn't just one of Canada's finest female basketball players, she's becoming a popular voice of the game as well. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP -Phelan M. Ebenhack
Canadian basketball star Nurse is carving out space in sports broadcasting at just 25

Canadian basketball star Nurse is carving out space in sports broadcasting at just 25

The D.C. Defenders, right, line up against the Seattle Dragons for the opening kickoff of the opening football game of the XFL season, in Washington, Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Despite heated social media discussion in Canada, talks between the CFL and XFL haven't addressed what rules could be implemented in a potential partnership. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Stephen Whyno
CFL commissioner Ambrosie says talks with XFL have centred around business, not rules

CFL commissioner Ambrosie says talks with XFL have centred around business, not rules

Most Read