P.E.I. first responders getting new communication system

A new multimillion-dollar mobile radio system is coming to Prince Edward Island to help first responders improve communications during emergencies, and keep themselves and the public safe.
Improvements to the Provincial Integrated Communication System infrastructure and equipment will help first RCMP, paramedics and firefighters do their job in the safest and most effective way, said Environment, Labour and Justice Minister and Attorney General Janice Sherry.

Acting Commanding Officer of RCMP on Prince Edward Island Superintendent Joanne Crampton said he is very pleased to see the modernization of the radio system.

"It is key that our first responders have access to the best possible tools in their day-to-day work. Efficient communication is vital to those involved in emergency situations, and the information transferred from party to party is often of a highly sensitive nature," he said. "This new system will allow for easier and more secure access between the right parties to get the job done.”

Currently some departments, agencies and first responders in P.E.I. use the Provincial Integrated Communications System mobile radio system, but many are unable to use it due to the limited coverage and reliability of the outdated technology. The new public safety radio system may be used by authorized user groups including public safety and public utility service providers at both the municipal and federal levels. It will enable communications among first response agencies currently not possible with today’s system.

“With the improved infrastructure, our paramedics and communications officers will now have increased coverage and longer range communications allowing for further collaboration with other emergency services," said Tim Coolen, President of Island EMS.

The provincial government hopes the new system will be operational by late fall of 2015.