By Thomas Garcia
QCS Senior Writer
The Quay County Sheriff’s office continues to repair a radio repeater tower officials say is vital to law, fire and emergency services for the county.
Over the past few months, more than $30,000 has been spent to repair, and bring the tower up to code, said Sheriff Russell Shafer.
Shafer said the tower is based on top of Tucumcari Mountain. He said it relays the radio signals to and from the sheriff’s office, local and county fire departments and EMS.
“The system is a vital component to the dispatching of fire and EMS services across the county, said Commissioner Mike Cherry.
Cherry, Tucumcari’s former fire chief, said without the radio dispatch system, fire crews could not coordinate their actions while fighting a fire. He said having their own repeater allows them to communicate with various units and agencies.
“The work is being done in the best interest of public safety,” Shafer said.
Shafer said Yucca Telecommunication out of Portales refurbished and rebuilt the repeaters. He said it had been awhile since any preventative maintenance had been done to any of the repeater systems.
“The work being done to the tower and repeaters will help keep the system operational for possibly another 15 years,” Shafer said.
Shafer said by repairing and maintaining the systems and equipment they are saving the county the cost of purchasing a new system.
He said the preliminary cost for just the equipment and tower would be around $400,000. That does not include the cost of the construction for placing the tower or set up of equipment.
Shafer said on Aug. 29, crews were on the tower moving the sheriff’s department repeater higher on the tower to improve the radio coverage. He said the support guide wires that hold the tower in place have also been replaced.
Shafer said a crew out of Midland Texas, has been hired to place two Federal Aviation Association beacons on the tower. He said the beacons are required by law. A specialized crew has to mount them on the tower, Shafer said.