New antennas help Wood Co. emergency departments communicate - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

New antennas help Wood Co. emergency departments communicate

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An antenna on top of the Perrysburg water tower. An antenna on top of the Perrysburg water tower.
WOOD COUNTY, OH (Toledo News Now) -

Agencies in Wood County now have a way to communicate with each other, which will make responding to emergencies easier and faster.

Eight antennas across the county allow the departments to communicate. They also increased the range for the departments' portable radios.

"You talk from the radio to an antenna, which is relayed to dispatch," explained Mike Richardson, EMS director for Troy Township. "You're dealing with several local antennas as opposed to just one central location."

In a county that's 618 square miles, even the dispatch center would have trouble hearing calls come in sometimes.

"We also had interference from other entities," said Wood County Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn. "We didn't have what's called a PL, or private line, on those channels, so you had bleed-over from other fire departments that were on the same channel in other counties."

The new antennas allow all portable devices to reach one another and the dispatch center, so when it comes to any type of emergency, there is a more direct way for one department to communicate with another.

"The key is to be able to have one entity be able to talk to another," the sheriff said. "Whether it's a firefighter being able to talk to our dispatchers, or one fire truck being able to talk to another fire truck, now they'll have county-wide communication with each other thanks to the canopy system and the new frequencies that we have."

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