Darlington County fire department receives new radio system

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DARLINGTON COUNTY (WBTW) – The Darlington County fire department received a new radio system that will allow them to talk to other agencies in surrounding counties.

Since 1987, the department has used the same radio and while responding to a call in the area, firefighters would lose signal, making it harder for them.

These days many of us rely on modern technology to communicate with others, but when it comes to 911 calls people expect a quick response from first responders.

“For us to be able to talk we would have to carry two radios and it’s not really a good idea while you’re calling inside a burning building trying to talk to someone outside. There’s been times where the radio system completely made it where you couldn’t talk to anyone. There was static and sometimes it would skip to other agencies that we could hear,” said Chief Rickey Flowers with the Darlington County fire department.

To help fix that problem, the department decided to buy a new system for nearly $600,000.

“It’s a little bit bigger than our old radios were but it’s a lot more durable  and it has a screen, so we can see what we’re doing,” said Flowers.

The system will also be able to call a dispatcher without losing signal in rural areas.

“We’ll have better coverage and we’ll be able to talk to other departments, and our state agencies we work with all the time. We wanted everyone on same the radio, but we’re upgrading from what I consider a bag phone to an iPhone,” said Flowers.

The fire department will get these radios programmed and will be live by the end of next week.

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