New radios to give rescue volunteers clear communications

Volunteer Rescue Association (VRA) Squads across the Dubbo electorate will soon have access to seamless communications in any location, at any time, thanks to a $4.7 million investment by the NSW Government.

Member for the Dubbo electorate Dugald Saunders said the squads based at Dubbo, Gulgong, Mendooran, Mudgee, Narromine, and the state headquarters at Dubbo will receive a total of nine new units fitted in vehicles, and 38 new hand-held radios.

“Whether it’s responding to major flooding, car crashes in remote locations or any number of other emergency situations, this technology will mean our VRA volunteers have access to radio communications anywhere, anytime,” Mr Saunders said.

“With this upgrade, volunteers across our region will have a consistent and reliable radio network which is compatible with other emergency services organisations and guarantees their ability to communicate no matter where they are.

“The VRA is the only agency in NSW completely focused on rescue operations and I’m very thankful to every volunteer for keeping our communities safe.”

Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience and Minister for Flood Recovery Steph Cooke said the funding will provide for a total of 421 new radios and equip 100 vehicles with Vehicle as a Node technology.

“The independent Flood Inquiry highlighted ways we can enhance our emergency response and the NSW Liberal National Government will continue to ensure first responders have the resources they need to keep regional, rural and remote communities safer and stronger,” Ms Cooke said.

“The Vehicle as a Node capability integrates radio, mobile phone and satellite networks to provide a communication system that is resistant to ‘blackspots’, which often occur when natural disasters impact infrastructure.”

VRA Acting Commissioner Andrew Luke said the upgrade will also give volunteers access to a duress button that is centrally monitored.

“At the press of a button our members can request urgent assistance if they are in danger, enabling an immediate response,” Acting Commissioner Luke said.

“Being able to send and receive life-saving communications in all conditions is vital to the safety of everyone, including our 1,218 members.”

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