An emergency communications networking agreement between New London and Waterford has been officially approved as Mayor Daryl Finizio and Waterford First Selectman Dan Steward signed the document this afternoon.
Finizio said the emergency services of the two communities have worked well together under mutual aid, and that the agreement would further strengthen this response.
“This is a great start to regionalization and an expansion of regionalization,” said Finizio.
Steward said the networking will improve services and help keep emergency responders safe.
“Ultimately it is our professional staff that make this all work,” he said.
Under the agreement, New London joins Waterford’s new $6.5 million emergency communications system. The move allows the city to meet a federal mandate to switch emergency communications systems to narrow band 800 MHZ frequency by Jan. 1.
New London will be able to operate its own channels but may coordinate with other entities in the event of a major emergency. The system is already capable of communicating with the Connecticut State Police, Millstone Power Station, and emergency responders in East Lyme and Montville.
The infrastructure of Waterford’s system is capable of meeting a radio standard of providing 95 percent coverage 95 percent of the time to New London. Under the agreement—which runs through June 30, 2018—New London will pay for one-third of annual maintenance costs, or about $75,000.
The agreement has the two communities form a public safety and telecommunications committee to allow regular interaction between New London and Waterford on public safety issues. New London must also install, repair, and replace its own radios; accept a maintenance agreement with Harris Corporation, a company Waterford has contracted with for radio services; and maintain the city’s current UHF licensing.
The agreement has been unanimously approved at other levels of city government in both Waterford and New London. The on Aug. 7, the on Aug. 13, and the New London .