Crews laying foundation for new emergency radio towers

Posted at 6:06 AM, Nov 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-01 06:06:46-04

Thousands of people living in Eaton County are a step closer to being safer during an emergency, as construction begins on the towers for a new emergency dispatch system.

Four emergency dispatch radio towers are going up in Olivet, Sunfield Township, Charlotte and Delta Township.

“A couple of our sites there are actually radio towers, the city of Charlotte, here in Olivet as well, but unfortunately those towers were built for the old system and they're just not in some cases strong enough or tall enough to be able to support the new equipment”, said Eaton County 911 Director Michael Armitage.

Wednesday the ground was set for the Public Safety Radio Project and crews will continue to layout concrete for tower sites over the next few weeks.

“Our towers that we're building they range from 300 feet to 180 feet tall and it's all based on terrain and what areas we need to cover”, Armitage explained.

Back in August, Eaton County voters decided to renew a longstanding emergency service millage for 29 local and state agencies.

“The reason they have to be bigger and beefier is because they have more microwave dishes on them… so for an officer or firefighter using the radio, what that means is there's less points of failure”, Armitage said.

The public safety radio project is being funded under that millage.

Once the new steel is elevated, officials say Shelters will be built to house the radio equipment.

“Between now and then not only are we testing the towers, but we have to program and get those radios out to the first responders”, Armitage continued.

Officials say the towers will be in the air in the next four weeks, but equipment installation will take a few months to set-up.

The new Eaton County 911 system is expected to go live next summer.