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Brunswick County fixing emergency radio problem

BRUNSWICK COUNTY -- Yesterday we told you about some problems Brunswick County is having with its 911 dispatch calls and emergency radio signals. Today officials explained what they're doing to fix the problem. Officials say they're raising their radio towers and adding more. Right now there are 10 towers transmitting radio signals throughout Brunswick County's 852 square miles. Officials say right now those towers are able to send out radio signals to 95 percent of the county. The area with the least coverage they say is the northwest part of the county. Deputy Director of Emergency Services Tom Rogers said, "The mobiles in their cars have adequate coverage there but it's the portables that raise concerns." Two more will soon be added to help boost coverage in the growing county: one on Bald Head Island, the other in the south end of the county. Along with more towers, they plan to make some of the existing ones higher. Rogers said, "It will improve the quality by giving a cleaner signal, they, have cleaner transmissions, less static, things of that nature." Bradley Suggs is a volunteer firefighter in Supply. He says he's experienced problems with his emergency response radio while on the job. Suggs said, "I'm a volunteer firefighter and I'm always wondering if I go into a burning house and the roof collapses and I call for them on my radio, am I going to get out?" Suggs doesn't think the planned improvements will help, saying, "They've lied to us so much now that it's hard to believe. They're going to have to show us it will work." Emergency officials in Brunswick County say they will start construction on the Bald Head Island tower next week. Construction on the south end tower will begin in a couple of months. Officials say to help with the lower signal quality in the north end of the county, they plan to raise the tower in Leland.

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