Emergency equipment updated

Jacob Lane · Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Anyone in West Liberty that looked up, last week, may have noticed some odd movement on top of the blue and white water tower in Kimberly Park.

West Liberty has installed a new emergency repeater antenna on top of the tower that will both improve and clarify the frequency at which emergency personnel communicate.

"It's just part of upgrading the county's communication," said Muscatine County's Emergency Management Director Matthew Shook. "They're installing a communications microwave link."

West Liberty, along with other communities in Muscatine County, is currently installing the new equipment in order to be up to date with the latest emergency tools.

According to Shook, Wilton, Conesville and Muscatine have also taken the necessary steps toward installing the latest equipment.

Because the project is being officiated by Muscatine County, including its Emergency Management Department and the Muscatine County Sheriff's Office, the county is funding the project.

"We don't have to pay for it," said West Liberty City Manager Chris Ward. "It's a way for our emergency responders to communicate with dispatch in Muscatine."

However, West Liberty did need to find the highest point in town for the equipment. That point ended up being the water tower.

The new equipment allows the West Liberty Fire Department, Police Department and ambulances to communicate with less interference. Clarity in communication has been an issue in the past.

The mounting equipment was put in place, Monday, by Tri State Tower Inc., out of Marion. The Communications Engineering Company, out of Davenport, installed the actual antenna later in the week.
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