Walla Walla Emergency Services Communications awarded grant to improve radio communications

WALLA WALLA, Wash. — Walla Walla Emergency Services Communications (WESCOM) has been awarded a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Community Facilities to help improve public safety radio communications in northern Walla Walla County.

Managed by the Walla Walla Police Department, WESCOM is the 911 Public Safety Answering Point for Walla Walla County. The center receives 911 calls for Walla Walla County and provides dispatch services for Walla Walla Police; College Place Police; Walla Walla County Sheriff’s Office; and most fire/Emergency Medical Services agencies in the county.

The WESCOM radio system was originally designed to include a total of seven remote sites to provide communications coverage across the county. However, due to a lack of sufficient funding, only five remote sites were funded.

The USDA has previously provided funding assistance to establish a remote radio site off Skyrocket Road in Prescott, Wash., and this recent grant will allow for the completion of the system to provide for better communications in the northern county near the Snake River. This will improve both the quality and dependability of emergency communications and responder safety for law enforcement, fire and EMS.

WESCOM Manager Steven Ruley notes the agency is also planning to implement a general improvement to the aging radio system infrastructure to keep pace with changing technologies.

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