The Comox Valley Emergency Program, one of 98 services offered by the regional district, has launched a new emergency radio repeater to support emergency programs and first responders by improving communications and helping to decrease response times within the community.
“Radio repeaters located at high points such as mountain tops and high buildings allow radio communications that might otherwise be blocked by terrain, buildings or other obstructions, to travel over long distances” explains Howie Siemens, Comox Valley Emergency Program Co-ordinator. “Emergency personnel relay on these radio frequencies to save lives every day.”
The repeater, located at the North Island Hospital Comox Valley campus, is a strategic and essential communications platform for all agencies responding to emergencies in the Comox Valley.
“In the last few weeks, two calls to the Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue team came in for people lost or stranded in the Comox Lake area made use of the new repeater,” said Paul Berry, CVGSAR manager. “The new Comox Valley Emergency Program repeater, because it has a direct line of sight into the lake area, was able to provide effective communications for the search teams and facilitate successful rescues.”
This new communications tool would not have been possible without the help, support and co-operation from many organizations and individuals, including Island Health, the B.C. Ambulance Service, North Island Hospital Comox Valley campus, and the local HAM radio operators who volunteer for the Comox Valley Emergency Program.