Pittsylvania Co. 911 Network Gets Major Upgrades - WSET.com - ABC13

Pittsylvania Co. 911 Network Gets Major Upgrades

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Pittsylvania Co., VA - Good news for folks living in Pittsylvania County.

The county's 911 network will be getting some major upgrades.

By adding more towers throughout the county and updating the current network, dispatchers and first responders will be able to communicate more efficiently.

It can make all the difference during an emergency.

"This may be the first time that we actually have a radio system that would fully cover the county because these towers are what we needed for years and years, " said County Administrator Dan Sleeper.

With Pittsylvania being the largest county in the state and made up of mostly rural areas, dropped signals posed problems for emergency services personnel.

But Sleeper says those days are over thanks to 13 million dollars in upgrades to the 911 network.

"In some places, we would lose communication a lot of times. Now, I'm hoping that we will have everything done and better than it was before, " Sleeper said.

The project involves building 8 new towers and establishing new radio infrastructure.

Police and fire personnel will also receive their own new radio equipment.

The updated system should be in place in August, but officials have a separate challenge of making a smooth transition.

 "Sometimes it's easy to turn one system off and turn a new system on. Not the case with public safety. You need to be on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, " said Jim Davis, emergency services coordinator.

The systems will run concurrently until officials feel the new system is ready to take over.

"We're going to run a parallel system - existing system and new system - for a period of time to make sure we have a very stable system before we completely cut the old system off, " Davis said.

The Board of Supervisors formed a special committee to choose two contractors to upgrade the system.

They ultimately chose Gamewood Technology in Danville and Harris Corporation in Lynchburg to complete the project.

The Board of Supervisors formed a special committee to choose two contractors to upgrade the system.

They ultimately chose Gamewood Technology in Danville and Harris Corporation in Lynchburg to complete the project.

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