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Restaurant fire sheds light on communication problem

READ MORE: Restaurant fire sheds light on communication problem
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BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- The Captain John's Seafood restaurant fire that happened on Tuesday in Calabash brought up another issue for first responders. An issue key to success or failure when lives are on the line. Brunswick County Emergency Services Director, Anthony Marzano, said Tuesday nights fire brought up the issue of training and protocol. He added firefighters were using their radio on two different channels; effecting what can be heard and said between firefighters.

It has been reported that the mix-up in communication was so bad that the Horry County radio system had to be used after Brunswick's failed.

"It's my understanding that operations last night may not have been on the tactical fire ground channel," said Brunswick County Emergency Services Director, Anthony Marzano. "One of the things we will be working on for our fire chief's meeting in December is coming out with a recommended protocol for departments to switch to direct radio to radio operations when that would be warranted."

WWAY asked Marzano if at anytime firefighters were in danger. He said he couldn't comment on that specifically because he wasn't on scene but ensured that the problems will be fixed.

"Communications are a critical resource," said Marzano. "Those firefighters are on the same system as the police officers, the same system as my emergency medical personnel and I care about all of them. All of our emergency responders are important to us and we are going to do what we need to do to fix the problems."

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The radio system in Brunswick county is a complete failure.

As a person in Brunswick County that works with the current radio system daily, there is no safe place to be with the current radio system, if it is inside a burning building with a radio that cannot get you help from the outside if necessary, or being any of the numerous sheriffs deputies that need radio communication and as firefighters depend on it for their lives so do the deputies. There is no lack of training and protocols that the county claims, but a complete lack of a radio system that works when you need it to work or heck for that fact work most any of the time. The radio system is the ems, fire, and sheriffs lifeline and at all times the radio systems fail in every which way possible, again not due to the lack of training but due to the poor system that was installed for our use. The county wants the fire depts. to go back to using the "old system that this new and "better system" replaced, why would we go back to the old system which is not monitored by the communications center, and if that system was such a great system why did it get replaced? Also why do many of the Brunswick County Ambulances have the 800 MHz system similar to the system that Horry County works off of and it works with out failure? Why would the Ambulance crews be entitled to a radio system that works and not the fire departments and the sheriffs, which all of our lives depend on them but it seems that Brunswick County is more focused on the Ambulance side of things than the publics safety and from the fire departments and the sheriffs side. Why would you equip the county medics with a new radio system before you equip the people that lives depend on the vital link of having a radio that works. This current radio system in Brunswick County is a disgrace and when is the problem going to get fixed? Is it going to take a funeral to fix the radio problems in Brunswick County?

Kudos to whoever wrote this;

Kudos to whoever wrote this; they hit the nail on the head. Anybody who has a scanner in Brunswick county will hear on a daily/nightly basis "ccom unable to get out on my car or portable radio" or ccom telling a fire unit "unable to copy your radio,lots of static" . I truly hope that it doesn't come down to one of members of the public safety community getting killed to get this system fixed. Not only are they endanger,think about the general public. This radio system is unacceptable, the fire departments have told the administration from the day this system went on the air that it did not work. That has been more than 3 years. So how long does it take to fix It!

Protocols and training are ywonderful tools.....but they will not work if the system itself doesn't work. These firefighters,leo and ems workers aren't stupid and their concerns and opinions don'tneed to be tossed aside. Last time I checked they are the ones who use and depend on the radio syst.emPeoples lives are depenedent upon this no good piece of radio equipment.

The administration in charge of Brunswick Emergency services cannot continue to blame the problems on the weathter or a tower being down. They need face the facts,accept responsibity and FIX THE SYSTEM!!!!

Wow! It is really

Wow! It is really interesting to hear some of the wild theories out there!!! Even more interesting is the fact that most of the people making these posts are not educated enough in the subject to even comment on it intelligently. So tell me something, how does someone hear the following on a scanner: "ccom unable to get out on my car or portable radio"? Apparently their communication got out! This is the problem in Brunswick County; too many "experts" out there.