USA Okanagan Voters Support Emergency Communications System Upgrades

Date:Nov 11, 2019



According to the election of the Okanogan County Auditor General's Office on November 5th, voters supported the county-level sales tax to update the emergency communications system used by police, fire and ambulances.

The proposal received 4,417 votes in the first vote and 2,194 votes in the negative. The Okanogan County proposal (business tax for emergency communication systems and facilities) will be used to replace the aging radio communication system based on technology 40 years ago. By 2020, manufacturers' support for current equipment will be terminated. All fire, postal, police and first aid personnel in the county will use the new system. The system is relatively crowded as the number of data processing events from 2011 to 2018 has increased by 19.6%. The government requires voters to approve 2% (0.2%) of business tax support to update the system.

The new emergency telecommunications system is an improvement over the old emergency telecommunications system, which is a 1 channel system that is dispatched from the first responder to the county. The new system will have a 4 channel radio system that "increased the first responder's ability to talk to coordinate their response", thereby increasing efficiency and effectiveness. The 4 channel radio system will allow law enforcement, fire, postal and emergency management to each have their own channel.