Three years after the Sept. 11 attacks, most local public-safety agencies in Virginia still cannot communicate with their counterparts around the state, nor with regional, state and federal agencies, reports the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
Virginia’s hodgepodge of radio systems imperils the lives of emergency workers and citizens, according to a recent state study. The study said, “Communication between local, regional and state public-safety organizations and federal responding agencies is often limited to the telephone.” Such problems have plagued police, fire and rescue organizations for decades, it added. A new statewide radio communications plan – said to be the first such effort in the nation – aims to break down these barriers. No one knows how much fixing the problem will cost or how long it will take to do it, said an assistant to the governor.