Sheriff nears school radio goal

$2,000 still needed for emergency radios

In an emergency, every second counts.

That’s why Webster County Sheriff Jim Stubbs has been leading the charge for adding emergency radio systems in all 15 schools in the county and two schools in Calhoun County whose districts straddle the county line, giving the schools an instantaneous connection with 911 dispatch.

On the radios is an orange button, that when pushed, connects directly to the Webster County Telecommunications Center. When the button is pushed, the school radio’s microphone stays open for 20 seconds, allowing dispatch and all law enforcement car radios to hear what is going on at the school.

“They’re utilized for several things,” Stubbs said. “It could be an irate parent, it could be an out of control student, it could be a medical emergency and also it could be something active like a shooter in the school.”

Each radio system costs about $3,000. Stubbs has been working for several months to raise the funds for the radios so that the schools won’t have to bear the burden. Six radios have been purchased so far.

Right now, for the remaining 11 radios, Stubbs has $30,877.62. He said he’s about $2,000 short, but hopes that more donations will come in to cover that cost.

The $3,000 price tag for the radios doesn’t include installation and programming, the sheriff said, so that might add to the cost of the project as well.

This radio project is one that Stubbs is very passionate about.

“It’s been an important project for me,” he said. “We want to ensure the safety of everybody in our schools and everybody in Webster County, and this is one way to do that.”

Once all the radios are purchased, they will be installed later this fall, and connected to the county’s new digital radio system.

Stubbs said the sheriffs department has received donations from all over the area, including $6,000 from the Calhoun County Foundation, and $2,500 from Kemna Auto.

“Any donation helps,” he said. “We’ve had $25 donations, up to $2,500 donations. It all adds up in time.”

For those wishing to donate, checks can be sent to the Webster County Sheriff’s Office, 702 First Ave. S., Fort Dodge, IA 50501. Please write “school radios” on the memo line of the check.


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