Emergency Responders Might Turn to VIPER
By Jan. 1, 2013 Moore County must cut its emergency communications system in half to 12.5 kHz channels, or face the possible loss of communications between responders and communities.
Scot Brooks, a county public safety specialist, told the elected officials forum Thursday that the recommended system, known as VIPER, would probably cost almost $5.2 million and have a minimum operating budget of $15,000.
“We’re going to have to move and move quickly in one direction,” Brooks told the gathering hosted by the Moore County Board of Commissioners at the Senior Enrichment Center.
In response to a question from Pinehurst Village Councilwoman Nancy Roy Fiorillo, Brooks said that the Federal Communications Commission has ordered the narrow banding of non-federal public safety licensees because of greater demand for emergency communications. Brooks added that with the continuing growth across the country, the day may come when all non-federal systems may be cut further to one-fourth the existing capability.
VIPER is the system used by the State Highway Patrol, which would be responsible for administration of the system.
It is one of four options available, including sticking with the present UHF analog system.
All of the options would be costly, but VIPER would be less costly from the infrastructure standpoint. What drives up the total cost is the addition of all the required equipment and services for all units covered by the county system. That includes the sheriff’s department, Emergency Medical Services, 17 fire departments, 10 rescue squads, 11 municipal police departments, the public schools, Animal Control, Sandhills Community College, the health department and Special Operations.
However, Brooks said grants may be available from several sources.
“I love to apply for grants,” he said.
The forum also heard accounts from Douglas P. Logan, emergency management coordinator and fire marshal for Granville County, and Trooper Lane Hobbs, assigned to the VIPER project by the State Highway Patrol and liaison to Moore County for the project.
More details will appear in the print version of The Pilot.
More like this story