The new Lambton County fire radio system is moving ahead.
The rural fire departments across the county are using a system which doesn’t allow all departments to talk with each other. Firefighters inside of burning buildings can also lose radio contact with their base.
St. Clair Fire Chief Walt Anderson worked with a number of his peers across the county and came up with a new system. The main equipment will cost $1.6 million to be equally divided on a per station basis. Local municipalities will foot the bill for the additional radios in their halls. In total, the system was expected to cost $2.1 million
While the municipalities agreed something needed to be done, there was concern about costs. Lambton Shores recently through up a caution sign – delaying approval of the project as it asked other Lambton County municipalities to consider other ways of funding the project.
Lambton Shores is facing a $500,000 bill for its departments.
But Lambton Shores Mayor Bill Weber says his suggestion of a county-wide levy for the main equipment didn’t get any traction and last week, Lambton Shores approved the system.
Anderson says the agreement will now be drawn up and each municipality will have to sign it before it moves forward.
The chief expects the system will be in operation in 2017. He says it could take some time for Industry Canada to approve any new towers.