Schumer introduces bill to save T-Band radio system for emergency responders

Posted: Updated:
VALHALLA -

Sen. Chuck Schumer is trying to save a special radio system that connects various emergency agencies across Westchester.

The Emergency Communications Venter in Valhalla is the heartbeat of communications for Westchester. Dispatchers at the center coordinate calls from fire and EMS from 80 different agencies throughout the county using a T-Band radio.

The system has been used for almost two decades, and it’s what county first responders have relied on to stay on the same page
 
Federal officials want to do away with the special frequency by 2021 and replace it with something else. They passed a law back in 2012, assuming a new system would be up and running by then.

Sen. Chuck Schumer is trying to save the radio system because he says first responders fear no viable alternative has been proven it could do the job.

“One of the ways in which our firefighters and first responders can best respond is when they can talk to each other on their radios,” he says.

Schumer has introduced bipartisan legislation to block the FCC from selling off the radio frequencies to the private sector because he believes its current value represents more than dollars and cents.

“This T-Band is priceless to the citizens of Westchester, Rockland and the Hudson Valley because it saves lives,” he says.

There is no word yet on when or if that legislation will be voted on.

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