To improve the mobile communications system, the Bond County Unit 2 Board of Education decided at its July meeting to purchase new radios for the entire district.
Unit 2 uses handheld radios for individuals and mobile two-way radios on buses.
The board unanimously approved a motion to purchase 75 handheld radios and 27 mobile units for buses. The package also includes installation of repeaters at Pocahontas and Sorento, and placing a new one in Greenville.
The total cost is $75,032 from Global Technical Systems. Superintendent Wes Olson told WGEL about $30,000 of it will be covered from federal funds and the rest will come out of the regular district budget.
Olson said the change is needed for safety and security because there are radio “dead spots” in some outer areas of the county. He said this impacts the district’s ability to connect to emergency services and causes safety and security issues. He said the district attempted to obtain competitive quotes from various companies.
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Olson said the bus radios would be installed by the district. He considers this as an important improvement. He gave the example of a student trip that was impacted by heavy traffic in St. Louis and the district could not alert the bus driver. He said the new equipment will work anywhere there’s LTE or cellular service.
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The superintendent said the big advantage is going digital, which will allow communications with local law enforcement. He noted that the conversion to digital cannot be done in “waves”, but must be done all at once.
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