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By Derek Schlennstedt

 CFA District 13 is one of the outer metropolitan districts that Is included in the transition from using analogue channels to using digital dispatch channels when communicating with VicFire.

As part of the Victorian State Government’s Digital Radio Upgrade Program (DRUP), CFA’s outer metropolitan Districts (7, 8, 13 and 14) whill all transition to digital by March 2019.

District 13 is predicted to be able to use the digital dispatch channels by February 2019.

The Program, facilitated by Emergency Management Victoria, will bring CFA’s outer metropolitan districts up to the same quality of dispatch communications enjoyed by CFA regional districts, Victoria Police, MFB, and Ambulance Victoria in metropolitan Melbourne.

It is seen as an important step to further enhance rural brigades’ capacity to carry out their duties.

The upgrades will see an additional 33 towers built across the four Districts as well as the introduction of 25 VicFire-allocated fire ground channels.

These new channels will use the new tower network to improve communications, providing better audio quality dispatch communications between CFA and VicFire.

CFA’s DRUP Project Director Shane Peacock said that when implemented, brigades will be advised of their allocated fire ground channel on their pager and by VicFire when turning out.

“The State Government has invested heavily in the enhancement of the RMR digital network which will see improved communications capabilities across CFA’s Outer Metropolitan Districts,” Mr Peacock said.

To allow time for members to get used to the transition to digital, both the digital and analogue dispatch channels will be patched together at VicFire for a period of time after transition.

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