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In an effort to improve public safety, the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors elected to invest $175,000 in CARES Act funds in equipment for an eleventh radio tower that will be set up in the City of Danville. This will allow for better emergency response coordination between the Danville Life Saving Crew and Pittsylvania County.
"Being able to effectively communicate by radio between Danville Life Saving Crew and Pittsylvania County is an essential part of effective coordinated emergency response between our two localities," said Public Safety Director Chris Slemp. "It is important that we can work seamlessly across borders and aid our neighbor. This will also improve our ability to communicate back to the county when our units travel through the city.”
Since local law enforcement agencies often have to transfer inmates between the two jail facilities and county emergency medical personnel frequently take citizens to the hospital in Danville, being able to seamlessly communicate between the two localities is important. The Danville Life Saving Crew also serves as the first-due emergency responder for a small portion of the southern end of Pittsylvania County.
The Life Saving Crew initially inquired about the county investing in this equipment earlier this year. The Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors originally approved this funding on the condition that the City of Danville provided an equal match, but ultimately decided to move forward even when Danville leaders elected not to contribute. The Danville Life Saving Crew is making up the difference.
“Utilizing our CARES Act funds to simultaneously bolster our infrastructure, improve public safety, and enhance emergency coordination with the Danville Life Saving Crew was really a no-brainer,” said Pittsylvania County Administrator David Smitherman. “Pittsylvania County believes in regionalism and is happy to invest our money to help agencies that work in our locality.”
The communication equipment will be placed on a tower owned by the Danville Life Saving Crew. The Danville Life Saving Crew is responsible for maintenance, repair and upkeep of the infrastructure placed on its tower. This option will allow Pittsylvania County to utilize an additional radio tower – which creates a more redundant system and allows for more seamless communications, for roughly half the normal cost.
With the more than $10.5 million received from the federal stimulus Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES Act), Pittsylvania County has chosen to invest nearly $3.5 million of that directly into public safety related equipment. CARES Act funds have also gone towards education, the improvement of infrastructure and services, and the purchase of technology.