But the situation also provided another real-world test of the new countywide communications system, which came online in January.
While at the Rome Public Safety Committee meeting Tuesday morning, Rome-Floyd Fire Chief Gordon Henderson said they had some issues with the new system’s radios while responding to the influx of calls.
“The radios are supposed to be waterproof,” Henderson said. “But they did get wet and didn’t tend to work at all.”
Troy Brock, who was recently promoted to deputy chief, said there was a problem hearing calls on radios when they were wet.
Henderson said that while the rain caused a bit of a problem, the way some of the departments use them is an issue as well.
“We’re going to have to do some in-house training on them,” Henderson said. “In a storm like we had last night, we were still using them like we did the old system and it’s not set up like that.”
He said for the most part the $26.7 million system has worked as advertised with better inter-agency communication but there are “still a few bugs” to be worked out.
Henderson said they would be talking to Harris Communications, the company that designed the new system and manufactured the radios.
In other business, Rome Police Chief Elaine Snow filled in the committee on the new identification devices.
They were recently purchased with a $21,350 homeland security grant on behalf of the Georgia Emergency Management Agency.
The mobile fingerprint scanners will allow officers on patrol to obtain a person’s identification information, including outstanding warrants, by getting a fingerprint and transmitting it through an in-car Mobile Data Terminal.
Snow said they have to come up with a policy on how to use the new technology and train officers before it can be put to use.