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Sheriff nears goal for school emergency radios

Donations still needed for effort to improve safety for students

Webster County Sheriff Jim Stubbs is closing in on a fundraising target he needs to reach in order to provide an extra level of safety in local schools. It’s time for residents, businesses and organizations to chip in and ensure that Stubbs can indeed hit that goal.

About $2,000 is needed to buy unique radios that will provide an instant link between schools and the dispatchers in the Webster County Telecommunications Center. The radios are formally known as the School Emergency Alert Radio System. They are designed to sit on a desk or a table, and with the exception of a big orange button, they look much like any other two-way radio.

When the big orange button is pressed, a tone sounds at all the dispatch consoles in the Telecommunications Center. Then a radio link is opened between the school and the dispatchers. Stubbs said there will be an open microphone for 20 seconds, and school personnel will be able to tell the dispatchers what is happening. The dispatchers will also be able to hear any kind of commotion going on near the radio.

The radios will be useful for summoning help for any kind of emergency situation.

Each of the radios costs about $3,000. The installation and programming of each one might add to the cost.

Stubbs wants to place one of the radios in each of the 15 schools in Webster County, plus two in Calhoun County that are right over the border. Six radios have been purchased already.

Stubbs launched the fundraising campaign in March.

We believe these radios are a good investment that will provide an extra layer of protection to our children in school. We ask everyone to consider supporting this effort.

Donations 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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