Valley Journal: The Arlee Fire Department bought a new radio repeater with money from an anonymous donor

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Issue Date: 11/24/2021 Last Update: 11/24/2021 10:58:53 AM | Jerry Beeks writes for Valley Journal

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ARLEE — With the installation of a new radio repeater at Pistol Creek Lookout, residents of Jocko Valley and surrounding areas are now slightly safer. Arlee Volunteer Fire Chief Charles Headley and EMT Director Kai Stein said they would like to thank anonymous donors for donating $25,000 to the fire department.

Part of the funds is used to purchase repeaters to improve communication between firefighters during emergency deployment and response. Before the advent of repeaters, handheld radios could only work over short distances, up to a mile. The repeater receives the signal, strengthens, and repeats it throughout the valley.

In an emergency, rescuers coordinate with each other over the entire valley by radio. The new radio repeater can achieve a more timely response, allowing fire trucks and ambulances to reach people faster. A few minutes can make a big difference in an emergency.

The remaining donations have been designated to complete the construction of the living area on the second floor of the fire station, so some firefighters will always be present. This will also provide faster response time on incoming calls.

This year has been a busy year for the 26 active members of the Arlee Volunteer Fire Department. So far, more than 360 fire and ambulance response calls have been received, which is much higher than the average of 280 calls per year. 

The department has two field fire trucks, one large structure vehicle, two tank trucks, one rescue vehicle and two ambulances. One of the ambulances is more than 25 years old and some equipment needs to be updated. Is applying for county-level funding to update some of the older vehicles. 

At the same time, the surrounding communities will benefit from improved emergency communications due to generous donors.

Arlee Arlee Fire Station  

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