A two-year project to switch Henry County over to an all-digital emergency radio system hit the halfway mark last week as the county’s Sheriff’s Department and Emergency Medical Services upgraded to the new system.
And while the new system has made it impossible for citizens to hear Sheriff’s calls on analog radio scanners, the Henry County 911 System says a fix is on the way.
Mark Archer, director of the 911 system, said the new radios went online last Wednesday at the Sheriff’s Department and Henry County Medical Center’s EMS.
Every unit in the Sheriff’s Department, including road deputies and investigators, jailers and court security have switched to the new radios, as have the EMS’s ambulance crews.
Also coming online in the next few weeks will be the Paris Board of Public Utilities, the Paris Public Works Department and parts of the Henry County School System.
“We have some tweaking to do, but for the most part, it’s completed,” Archer said.
Since the new system went live on Wednesday, many police radio scanner owners have noticed they can no longer can hear transmissions from the Sheriff’s Department or ambulances being dispatched.
In addition, Tennessee Highway Patrol officers can no longer speak directly with deputies at wreck scenes.
Both situations should be solved soon, Archer said.
According to Chad Howard, information technology manager for the 911 system, the analog repeater once used by the Sheriff’s Department before the transition will be used as a gateway to communicate with outside counties, and for THP communications. That’s also good news for local scanner owners wanting to listen to the Sheriff’s Department.
Once the gateway goes in, analog scanner owners will be able to hear the Sheriff’s Department once more. However, they still won’t be able to hear EMS calls because of a static problem, Howard said.
Archer said he expected to see the gateway installed within two weeks.