Repeater removing dead spots in western areas

Published 10:36 pm Monday, March 16, 2009

A new repeater used by fire departments that has been in operation for more than a month has increased reception across Chilton County, especially in the western areas of Chilton County.

The repeater, which is located on an old AT&T microwave tower west of Maplesville, is the primary radio source for Maplesville, South Chilton and Plantersville fire departments.

Dan Wright, who was the Chilton County Firefighters Association president until January, said this was a project the association has been working on for a while.

“The radio reception for many of the areas in the western part of the county was spotty,” Wright said. “Now, this has vastly improved the radio reception over there.”

Chilton County 911 director Helen Smith said communicating with departments like as Maplesville and South Chilton was difficult.

“We could dispatch them without any problem, but when they would call us back, it was hard to understand what they were saying,” Smith said. “This new repeater is working much better.”

The Firefighters Association owns the new repeater like the two others in Chilton County, but the tower itself is owned by a Texas company, Wright said. The only thing that must be done by the fire departments is to make sure that the grass is cut.

The two other repeaters are located in Fairview and Jemison.

Wright said this will eliminate most of the dead areas in the western part of the county and should make the coverage more equal across the county.