The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen is improving its Emergency 911 network within the Kaleden Volunteer Fire Department response district. (Black Press Media files)

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen is improving its Emergency 911 network within the Kaleden Volunteer Fire Department response district. (Black Press Media files)

Emergency 911 repeater improvements planned for Kaleden

Upgrade will improve service and expand communication zone

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen is upgrading and improving its Emergency 911 two-way radio network within the Kaleden Volunteer Fire Department response district.

A repeater system is being installed adjacent to the Transport Canada beacon tower site located on Greyledge Mountain.

The new repeater location is expected to improve the ability to safely respond to emergencies within the Fire Response District.

A three metre by 2.4 metre ‘sea-can’ will be moved to the site to house telecommunications equipment, instruments and antennas.

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The regional district is working with fire departments, property owners, engineers and subject matter experts to ensure the success of the project.

“The upgraded system will significantly improve reception,” said Kaleden Fire Chief Denis Gaudry.

The improvement project will expand the current communication zone and enhance first responder communications to outlying regions such as Twin Lakes and St Andrews.

“Upgrading the E911 system will allow valued KVFD community volunteers to do what they do best, and that is keeping the community safe and ensure firefighters return home safely,” said Subrina Monteith, director for Electoral Area I.

This communication project will not emit frequencies on the 5G mobile network band.

The system will use VHF frequencies which are commonly used to communicate with a portable, two-way radios. VHF frequencies are a primary form of communication wave band used by police, ambulance, fire departments, search and rescue, and private industry as well as personal use.

The E911 network provides regional emergency telecommunications for fire departments within the regional districts, five municipal fire departments, and six societies and brigades within the regional districts.

In 2019, the regional district funded the Kaleden Fire Department Radio Coverage Improvement Study that identified moving the repeater system from the fire hall to Greyledge Mountain would provide better service throughout Electoral Area I.

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