Petrolia/North Enniskillen Fire Chief Lawrence Swift says every firefighter is carrying a portable radio to fire scenes until the new system is in place.
Lambton County fire departments have been working together to set up a new fire radio system.
Spectrum Communications is setting up the tower system now. However it is taking longer than expected. Swift says the new radios may not be online until the end of 2017 or even early 2018. And that poses some problems.
Most departments, he says, have received the new radios and are using them.
But they don’t always work properly since the old system is analogue and the new is digital.
“One member said that he didn’t feel comfortable with the system… The old system was prone to failures and now we’re in the middle of using mis- matched equipment and on the scene they’re having trouble communicating.
“The radios are not doing at least what members thought they would be doing.”
So Swift says so to be sure everyone can communicate when necessary, each firefighter now carries a radio.
They work in threes so it is highly unlikely all radios would fail at the same time.
Usually, two out of three firefighters would carry radios.
Swift says the department will likely take the extra precaution until the new system is online.