In case you missed the update to a story we had Monday, I spoke with Sheriff Willis Blackwell yesterday morning after the 7 o’clock news, and he told me at last Friday’s meeting with County Judge Rick Campbell, local fire department chiefs, and the sheriff’s department, there’s been a short-term and long-term fix to the issue of not having the analog paging equipment available for volunteer fireman. The sheriff said in the short-term, he’s turned the analog equipment back on for paging of fire departments only, and there’s to be no radio communications between firemen while enroute or at the scene of a fire. The long-term solution was to re-install the old radio repeater, which was disconnected when the new digital equipment was installed. Sheriff Blackwell said the analog repeater would be installed on a tower, not sure where, that would be used for paging and communicating among county fireman. Sheriff Blackwell said it would be the responsibility of the county and local fire departments to have this repeater re-installed. Some fire departments continue to use a texting service to get the word out to their fire personnel.
A Shelby County Fire Department credits the restored pager system in helping with the response time to a mobile home fire last Saturday afternoon. The West Shelby County Volunteer Fire Department contained a blaze at a mobile home on County Road 1245. Fireman arrived around 4:30 to find the master bath area and back porch of the structure engulfed in flames. Firemen were able to contain the fire to those areas. Fire Chief Jerryl Adams said the volunteer’s quick response, along with the restored paging system kept the fire from spreading. The name of the mobile home’s owner was not available.