The repeater is in a central location, and allows for longer range broadcasts of emergency information. Without it, it is difficult to hear what is being said over broadcasts.
This is a one-time expenditure. There is no on-going maintenance required.
In an emergency situation, miscommunication can be fatal. Some examples that did occur in Pownal are:
- 2 years ago where the Roost used to be, there was a fire. In trying to convey where the fire was, the on-scene person said it was the same place as a controlled fire was prior to this. All the responders heard was ‘controlled fire’. This sent the wrong message and delayed a response.
- One of the first responders for a different event was in Williamstown, and could not hear any of the specifics of emergency call.
- In another incident that was conveyed to me, someone had a chimney fire, which can often be catastrophic. The first responders arrived on scene, took care of the situation to where there was not longer an emergency. But that could not be accurately relayed to the fire department, so the responders showed up on site. Had those resources been needed for another emergency, they would not have been able to respond while tied up for the now neutralized threat.
- Often, first responders live in areas where they never hear a call in the first place, cost valuable time and resources during emergency events that are often life threatening.
In my view, this is a perfect example of what we SHOULD be spending tax dollars on. This comes down to taking care of our neighbors, and protecting lives. To me, it is not just a probability that failure to act will result in loss of life, it is a statistical inevitability. It’s just a matter of time.
And when it does happen, we will certainly act and approve this expenditure. Let’s do it NOW, before the unthinkable actually happens. We’ve already had too many close calls.