Written by – Peter J. Scarborough
I am officially forming a group for the purpose of creating a better system of accessing Emergency Services in Boise County. Many of you have seen my letter to the Editor in The Idaho World. As I stated in that letter, my reason for initiating this effort is to prevent needless suffering and loss of life due to inadequate access to Emergency Services.
There are significant areas of Boise County where there are no power or phone lines. While it is true that some people have migrated to these areas because of that fact, this lack of communications has on more than one occasion, led to needless delay in getting Emergency response, resulting in aggravation of injuries, or even death. I cited a case in point in my letter where the delay was about one hour.
Now this is nobody’s fault, and the goal here is not to place blame, but rather to instigate change through concerted effort by a wide range of Boise County interests. In that vein, I welcome those who feel that increased phone service would enhance business and life in general in the County.
In the research I have done to date, I have found there are Emergency Phone Systems that would place call stations along main roads, such as Highways 21, and 55, and Banks-Lowman Road, as needed. These systems are available in solar powered versions for those areas where no power is present. One type uses existing radio communication systems, such as Boise County already has. I do not have any cost figures for such a system, but in order to provide adequate coverage, they would have to be placed close enough together to allow quick access in any emergency.
It is no secret that there are some inadequacies in the existing radio communication, even with multiple repeaters in various locations around the County. Even if these ‘phones’ were placed along the main roads, there would still be many areas that would not have any better access than there is currently. At present, I have formed the opinion that the most viable and cost effective option is a two tiered system, combining placing tower or pole mounted emergency phones and increasing Cellular coverage in the County. It is my understanding that the providers have refused, or at least been reluctant to erect new towers without what they term ‘sufficient population to warrant the expense.’
For this reason, I want to invite any person or business in Boise County who believes that the benefits that would be realized from increased Cellular coverage would be a good thing, to join me in an effort to persuade the providers to look past pure profit, and look to providing a real service to our community. For those with access to Facebook, look for us at BC-CALL, or email me at email@example.com.