Regional emergency communication tower proving its worth

Twice in the past month, Reno County Emergency Management has deployed a special communications tower to aid agencies responding to large emergencies in communicating with each other – at the Hesston shooting and the Anderson Creek wildfire in Barber County.

Homeland Security dollars bought the Mutual Aid Deployable Communications on Wheels (MAD COW) tower in 2010 to serve the 19-county Homeland Security Agency South Central Region, which has Reno County near its center, said Todd Strain, of the emergency management office.

The tower allows agencies with different types of signals – UHV, VHF or 800 megahertz – to be able to talk to each other. The tower, which rides on a 60-foot truck and trailer, can extend to 106 feet, Strain said. A second tower is in Marion.

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