Enhanced radio site will improve firefighter safety

Firefighters protecting homes around Charmhaven during the New Year’s Eve bushfire 2019/2020. Photo: NSWRFS

Budgewoi is one of 200 new and enhanced Public Safety Network (PSN) radio sites, increasing mission-critical communications coverage for first responders.

Next to Australia’s triple zero emergency hotline, the PSN is the most critical communications network in NSW, providing infrastructure enabling emergency services to communicate over a single, encrypted integrated network.

Minister for Digital and Customer Service, Victor Dominello, said achieving the 200-site milestone meant the PSN would now provide coverage across an area greater than 342,000sq/km or 42 per cent of the State, and reach 96 per cent of the population.

“This once-in-a-generation investment in radio communications infrastructure is about saving lives,” he said.

“During an emergency, every second counts.

“By expanding the PSN, we are providing emergency services with the tools, to not only to do their job when and where they need to but also keep them safe.

“It is good news for the community and for our first responders who go to work every day to protect the people and places of NSW.”

Dominello said by consolidating multiple separate agency radio networks, the Critical Communications Enhancement Program (CCEP) would provide a more efficient, resilient PSN for first responders.

“I would like to thank NSW Police, Fire and Rescue NSW, NSW Ambulance, the Rural Fire Service and the State Emergency Service for their continued support and partnership in delivering the new and enhanced PSN sites,” he said.

Minister for Police and Emergency Services, David Elliott, said that every initiative which improved the communications technology available for our emergency services personnel was a good one.

“Many of the locations which have received a new or enhanced radio site were impacted by the ‘Black Summer’ of bush fires, and saw our firefighters experience compromised communication networks, risking their safety,” he said.

“This critical work complements the NSW Government’s half a billion dollar response to the NSW Bushfire Inquiry recommendations and will improve the safety of our firefighters and mitigate bush fire risk.”

This milestone marks the completion of close to one-third of the 675 sites under the $1.4B CCEP being delivered by NSW Telco Authority.

NSW Government

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