Loss of Life and delayed emergency care should not happen because of lack of cell service in rural America!
*Written by Peter J. Scarborough – BCC Contributor
A few months ago I embarked on a campaign to get better access to Emergency Services within Boise County. This effort resulted in forming a group of concerned citizens known as Boise County Citizens Against Loss of Life, or BC-CALL. In this effort, letters were sent to six Corporations involved in the Communications industry.
There were ZERO responses. At first I was disheartened by the lack of interest, but I decided to press on. Since the formation of BC-CALL several things have happened. First, the Idaho City Chamber went on record as fully backing this project, and they even made me an honorary member, for which I am grateful. Second, we learned that T-Mobile is, in fact, putting a cell tower in the Idaho City area, scheduled for completion some time in 2017. While this is good news for some, the larger problem still exists, that of little or no reliable access to our 9-1-1 system in significant portions of our County. I have recently drafted a letter to T-Mobile thanking them for their commitment, and offering any assistance we might provide. I also asked several important questions about coverage area and usability by non T-Mobile subscribers
for Emergency access. At the same time I wrote a second letter to the local or regional offices of the other providers, reinforcing our desire for improved communications.
Rest assured I will not give up, and I invite anyone to join us.
Facebook BC-Call https://www.facebook.com/groups/1875025486065705/permalink/1922101734691413/
Here is the second letter….and can be used as a letter from anyone else who might be able to contact Cell Providers….
Boise County-Citizens Against Loss of Life is a community action group formed to mitigate a life threatening condition here in Boise County, Idaho. There are two major North-South highways in the county, Highway 55 in the Western part and Highway 21 in the Eastern part. Connecting these two in the North is Banks-Lowman Road. Due to terrain and some other factors, there is little or no communication available for almost the entire length of Highway 21, and some portions of Banks-Lowman Road and Highway 55. These conditions prevent timely access to Emergency Services, despite the county having a well-functioning 9-1-1 system.
With the backing of several community organizations, and many private citizens, our group is committed to changing this situation. This effort began several months ago, when an incident occurred that resulted in the death of an individual, due to the passerby who reported the incident not being able to contact Emergency Services for nearly one hour. That, along with the fact that the responding Boise County Deputy was about 30 minutes away, resulted in the individual’s death. Had there been land line or cellular phone service available, this needless tragedy may have been prevented.
We have researched this issue and have come up with a possible solution that would involve a cooperative effort by several corporations. We believe that along the Southern portion of Highway 21, pole or tower mounted Emergency Telephones could be placed at intervals of about 5 miles. With proper advertising, signage and public education, these would provide 24 hour access to Emergency Services. We have located four possible sites that would cover the portion of the highway that has both power and telephone lines available. This coverage would extend from the Southern border of Boise County to Idaho City. This entire section has almost zero cellular access.
For the part of the highway North of Idaho City, extending to Lowman, we are proposing the erection of three or more solar powered cell towers to provide coverage for this area, which has neither power lines nor telephone lines. Our hope is that the providers could work together to build and place these towers, and that antennas for all could be on them. We have identified several possible locations for these towers, but the technicians and engineers from the providers would be able to determine the best locations. We are fully aware of the cost of such a project, and we are currently exploring sources of funding for it, such as grants and community fund-raising events. In addition to the saving of lives and property, this project would also benefit people in other ways, as well as enhancing the business climate of the area, leading to further economic growth.
T-Mobile has already committed to placing a tower in the Idaho City area, scheduled for completion in 2017. We hope that others will follow suit in the interest of public safety.
Please consider this request and join us in our effort to save lives and improve life here. I and other members are more than willing to meet with your representatives at any time to discuss this project.
Peter J Scarborough, Founder