New radio system improves Collier County communications for emergencies

We all have come to rely on modern devices — cell phones, tablets and computers — to speed and enhance our ability to communicate. And when it comes to 911 calls, the public expects a speedy response from first responders.

Collier County now has a new radio system to better protect community members and the public at large, connecting all county agencies.

“Whether it’s a day like today when the sun is shining or a Hurricane Irma coming through again, we want to have the best communication,” said Nolan Sapp, the assistant fire chief of Greater Naples Fire Rescue District. “So we can get resources on the ground moving to you as quickly as possible.”

With the new radio system, the sheriff’s office, emergency medical services, the school district and everything in between that makes up Collier County government now have the ability to connect through the same channel. And this will directly help with communication during an emergency.

“The better our communications network is, the faster the dispatcher can get the call to us,” Sapp said. “Seconds matter, and we firmly believe that.”

Those words ease fears among community members.

“I’m in favor of faster and better information,” said Bob Mulligan in Naples. “That’s only a good thing.”

Great Naples Fire alone spent over $1 million to contribute to the purchase of the new county communication system.

Sapp said the new radio system is already having a positive impact on agency communication levels. Two more radio towers have been erected within the county. Sapp said they provide better signal and can withstand better hurricane-force winds better than other equipment has ever before.

“We are seeing enhancements with building coverage we didn’t have in the past,” Sapp said. “Some of the dead spots, a lot of them have been eliminated.”


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