Thunder Bay Fire Rescue wants to make sure its communications system is up to date, and a consultant has been hired to look at options for improvements.

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Pumper #7 at Thunder Bay's Neebing station. (Thunderbay.ca)

Fire chief John Hay said the consultant’s report will tell the department how it might upgrade its system, so firefighters will be better able to talk to dispatchers, as well as colleagues who are working in the field.

"We expect the equipment will not be as reliable going forward as it has been," Hay said, noting that there's likely more modern and reliable systems available.

"No radio system is absolutely perfect. We try to identify buildings or areas of town that do give us a problem. We need to review the whole program from when the caller calls in to when the fire truck arrives. We want to be sure … we are getting proper and safe radio communication."

Hay said rural departments are in the same position with outdated equipment, and he noted the report will include a look at providing dispatch services to rural and volunteer departments near Thunder Bay.