- Associated Press - Sunday, November 27, 2016

KETCHIKAN, Alaska (AP) - The most populated city on Prince of Wales Island will be able to buy new emergency dispatch equipment with the Craig Tribal Association’s donation of $180,000.

The association gave the city the Federal Highway Administration’s Tribal Transportation Program Safety grant, the Ketchikan Daily News (https://bit.ly/2fTEiKH ) reported.

Craig Police Chief Robert Ely said the donation will boost operational ability.

A malfunction in the current system had fire crews responding to a hotel blaze in December 2015 on different frequencies.

“We had the fire department from Klawock come over, and the system malfunctioned,” Ely said. “We weren’t able to do a patch, so basically the dispatch center has to do a heck of a lot more monitoring because if I’m talking on my frequency, and Craig Fire is on their frequency and Klawock is on theirs, you get a lot of bleed-over and you can miss a lot of stuff.

“With the new system, by pushing a couple of different icons, we’re all on the same frequency. We’re all talking to each other.”

He said the upgraded equipment will mean emergency responders will not need to adjust radios to communicate when they arrive on scene.

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Information from: Ketchikan (Alaska) Daily News, https://www.ketchikandailynews.com

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