Emergency Alert Sirens and New Police Radios Arrive in Heaven | News

PARADISE, Calif. – Two major public safety upgrades are coming to Paradise Town.

The city received a grant to upgrade its radio network connections which were destroyed during the camp fire in 2018.

The difference is that agents will be able to log in with other departments as well as their own.






Paradise Police Chief Eric Reinbold said that currently the radios they use are old and outdated. Additionally, the Campfire has destroyed the VFH radio connection throughout Paradise, rendering radios less useful.

The improved two-way radio system will improve communication between officers.

“Interoperability to communicate within our own department, with other agencies, across the county and then beyond,” Chief Reinbold said. “Really state-of-the-art equipment that is moving us in the right direction.”

The city is using a $615,000 federal grant to pay for the upgrade.

“There are a lot of things that go through a larger budget allocation process, but this one here we are able to move quickly and get the important things done in a timely manner,” said Doug LaMalfa, member. of the Republican Congressman from District 1. “I can’t think of anything more key or more important to Paradise City than having this communications system.”







CITY OF PARADISE

The Butte County Sheriff’s Office has responded to dispatch calls in the meantime.

The city still needs to upgrade the police department building and recruit dispatchers before they can return to paradise.

“Every police officer will benefit from an increased level of service and security that can only be accomplished internally and we are all entitled to that,” said Paradise Mayor Steve Crowder.

Chief Reinbold told Action News Now they could have returning dispatchers by June 2024.

Paradise has already received 15 upgraded radios and expects to have about 130 in total for use in policing, animal control and public works.

The city also still has emergency alert sirens on its radar.

“When the Camp Fire happened, a lot of people were still sleeping in their beds and didn’t even know the fire was happening,” said Camp Fire survivor Lisa Ely.

Ely was on his way to work when the camp fire broke out. Then his family started calling.

“I got a lot of phone calls and a lot of people trying to warn people,” Ely said. “Even though they tried to alert everyone in every neighborhood, there were just a lot of people who just didn’t hear it.”

Ely and his family escaped, but 85 people did not. Now the town of Paradise wants to make sure everyone makes it out alive.

“Communication is the most important factor in any type of emergency,” said Paradise City Manager Kevin Phillips.

That’s why he plans to build emergency sirens all over the city.

“The benefits of this one will not only be that it will have siren abilities, but it will have vocal abilities,” Phillips said. “So if there are going to be instructions given through voice commands, the system will have that capability.”

Emergency sirens will be placed in public places throughout the community such as the police station, schools and parks.

“If we were to activate just one of the sirens or one of the towers to communicate with a specific area of ​​it, it would have that capability,” Phillips told Action News Now.

The city has done two mermaid studies so far. One was about the environment and the other was about how many sirens to add.

“The sooner people can be alerted, the sooner you can get out and get to safety,” Ely told Action News Now.

The city used grants from FEMA and CAL OES for these studies and is now awaiting the final construction grant.

“We thought it would happen quicker than it did, but we’re just grateful to be at the end of the road,” Phillips said.

These emergency sirens will cost around $2 million. The city plans to use the grant to pay 75% of this cost.

Phillips told Action News Now they will likely get the construction grant money in April, and then the city council will present plans to start construction in the summer.

Right now they plan to have 19 mermaids across the city.

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