“Yes, we do,” said Griffin Fire Chief Tommy Jones. “At least partially.”
He said the radios began trickling into Griffin Fire-Rescue about a month ago. The “portables” — walkie-talkies — arrived first, followed by vehicular units. Those have been installed in all department trucks and cars.
“What’s happening now is we are in a mode of introducing the system and trying to troubleshoot it as best we can, to work out as many kinks as possible,” Jones said.
He said the department knew going in that the transition process would take awhile. The department is testing the radios and working with personnel from Harris Communications on repairing any glitches.
The department is using 800 MHz on calls, primarily less life-threatening ones. The system will limited to these until total trust is established. Jones said there have been glitches and problems with the units used on calls but this is expected.
“The only way to work out those problems is to get in there and test them and test them until every problem is identified,” Jones said.
He said the goal is to work with the radios until the fire department has what it paid for.
Investigator Bryan Clanton of the Griffin Police Department said the department has not received the 800 MHz system. The department is not aware of an installation timetable either. Clanton said when the system arrives, it will be distributed to the patrol officers and training will begin.
“Each department will have installation made and portables handed out,” said Steve Macke, a consultant working with the county on the system.
He said there is a schedule for each department, which is sent out monthly to all department heads.
Interim Assistant to the County Manager Virginia Martin said the county’s chronology is tied in with the installation of the equipment into vehicles.
Griffin Fire-Rescue has already received its vehicular units; now the Spalding County Fire Department’s vehicles are being fitted. The Griffin Police Department will receive its 800 MHz units after EMS, which will receive it after the county fire department.
Martin said as of Thursday evening, the installation process was halfway complete with the Spalding County Fire Department and should be finished this week. The 10 units EMS will receive should be installed next week.
Martin does not know the timetable for the Griffin Police Department. She said the department will receive more than 100 units, which will take time to install.