New communications tower increases radio coverage

[gtxvideo vid=”CDblIOvM” playlist=”” pid=”OTSe9U1y” thumb=”http://player.gtxcel.com/thumbs/CDblIOvM.jpg” vtitle=”Weakley Co Comm Tower – Chelseaā€¯]

DRESDEN, Tenn. — A new communications tower is going up in West Tennessee, and it’s not just new — it’s a whole lot better, according to first responders. When the FCC mandated that all public radios use a narrow band frequency in 2012, it allowed for more users but caused some problems for first responders. “It really decreased the amount of coverage that we would have in our county and everywhere in the United States,” said Jamison Peevyhouse, director of 911 and emergency management in Weakley County. After doing some research, they found a way to actually increase their coverage area. “The only way we could do that, really, was increase the height of the tower,” he said. The tower now will be double the original height. “Currently in Weakley County, all of our pubic safety towers are 180 feet or less, and the tower that we are building behind the sheriff’s department complex will be 330 feet,” Peevyhouse said. He said the $450,000 construction cost will be paid for through a grant. “Weakley County will actually own the property and the tower that is being built,” he said. “However, the tower is being purchased from funds that the Weakley County 911 board has granted over to the county.” He said this allows the board to give back to the community by bettering safety response resources. Sgt. Marty Plunk says he and the rest of the sheriff’s department are looking forward to the improvements. “A lot of times it’s not just whether we’re talking to dispatch center and getting things done that way, but there is a lot of times in these emergency situations we need to be able to talk to each other up there.” The tower’s foundation was laid last week. The new tower is expected to be completed by the first of May.

Categories: Local News, News, Video