Alberta to build emergency radio network

The Alberta government announced Friday it will build a province-wide radio communications network that will connect every police, ambulance and fire department in the province.

$370 million project to coordinate response to emergencies and natural disasters

A province-wide radio network will help emergency personnel cope with disasters such as last summer's flooding in southern Alberta. (Canadian Press)

The Alberta government announced Friday it is finally moving ahead on a province-wide radio communications network that will connect every police, ambulance and fire department in the province.

The system will help first responders react in a more coordinated manner in emergencies and natural disasters, said Premier Ed Stelmach. 

The $370 million network will be built by Harris Systems Canada. Construction will begin in March and the network will gradually be phased in between 2011 and 2014.

The contract includes 400 radio repeater and network towers and portable and mobile radios.

"This new communications network is the largest and most comprehensive of its kind in Canada," said Frank Oberle, Solicitor General and Minister of Public Security.

It will link 700 Alberta agencies and nearly 30,000 emergency personnel when it is completed.

The project was orginally announced in October 2008 with construction beginning in 2009.