The Comox Valley Emergency Program, one of the 98 services offered by the Regional District to the region, recently launched a new emergency radio repeater to support emergency programs and first responders by improving communications and helping to decrease response times within the community.

“Radio repeaters located at high points such as mountain tops and high buildings allow radio communications that might otherwise be blocked by terrain, buildings or other obstructions, to travel over long distances” explains Howie Siemens, Comox Valley Emergency Program Coordinator. “Emergency personnel rely on these radio frequencies to save lives every day.”

The new radio repeater, located at the North Island Hospital Comox Valley campus, is a very strategic and essential communications platform for all agencies responding to emergencies in the Comox Valley.

“In the last few weeks two calls to the Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue team came in for people lost or stranded in the Comox Lake area made use of the new repeater,” explains Paul Berry, Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue Search Manager. “The new Comox Valley Emergency Program repeater, because it has a direct line of sight into the lake area, was able to provide effective communications for the search teams and facilitate successful rescues.”

This new communications tool would not have been possible without the help, support and cooperation from many organizations and individuals including:

  • Island Health
  • The B.C. Ambulance Service
  • North Island Hospital Comox Valley Campus
  • The local HAM radio operators who volunteer for the Comox Valley Emergency Program.

The Comox Valley Regional District is a federation of three electoral areas and three municipalities providing sustainable services for residents and visitors to the area. The members of the regional district work collaboratively on services for the benefit of the diverse urban and rural areas of the Comox Valley.

Howie Siemens

Comox Valley Emergency Program Coordinator, Comox Valley Regional District