Emergency Services Minister
Craig Crawford

June 15, 2018

SES groups in the South Burnett are expected to be using a secure digital communication network within the next two years.

Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford announced on Friday that 79 SES groups would be moving to the Government Wireless Network (GWN) following a $15 million allocation in the State Budget.

The groups which will be given the new radio equipment are located from the NSW border, west to Toowoomba and north to Gympie.

“Firefighters, police and paramedics are already using the GWN, which is a secure digital communication network that allows multiple agencies to operate on a single channel,” Mr Crawford said.

“We’ve seen the benefits of GWN-equipped radios due to increased coverage and reduced communication black spots, and I’m pleased to see the SES will begin using the network.

“This substantial investment means the SES will be able to fully integrate with other agencies during incidents, ensuring all of our fire and emergency services are operating from a single communication network.”

QFES Deputy Commissioner Mike Wassing said streamlining inter-agency communication was essential for the SES.

He said the radios also included important safety measures.

“At any time, someone using a GWN-enabled radio can press what is known as a duress button to call for help,” he said.

“This will put them in direct contact with our central communication centre and alert others on the GWN network, giving QFES greater capability to provide immediate aid and support when needed.”

The GWN network also stops the general public scanning emergency services radio channels.

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