Vermilion Parish Radio Giveaway

Parish leaders are constantly tweaking their hurricane plans making improvements so they don't make the same mistakes again. The Vermilion Parish sheriff has taken steps to ensure he's able to get help no matter how much wind and water comes in.

Vermilion Parish Sheriff Mike Couvillon is giving all mayors in Vermilion parish a portable radio. Sheriff Couvillon says this will give the heads of municipal government the ability to communicate directly with incident command.

"The 700 watt radios that the sheriff acquired for use are going to be a blessing to Erath, and all the municipalities in Vermillion parish." said Erath Mayor George Dupuis.

A blessing Mayor George Dupuis said will eliminate a communication breakdown, a nightmare no mayor in the path of a hurricane wants to experience.

"Hurricane Rita, it was a nightmare, we had problems communicating with each other, said Dupuis. Cell phones were down, our radio system was down."

Vermilion Parish Sheriff Mike Couvillon said he wants to expand this new system and keep communication consistent in the event of a major storm.

"The more communication you have throughout the parish, the more you can get done." said Vermilion Parish Sheriff Mike Couvillon.

"We'd like to see every first responder even public works personnel, have these radios, and using that as their means of communication." said Capt. Brandon Alleman with the Vermilion Parish Sheriffs office.

These radios are not cheap, $2300 a piece, a hefty price tag to maintain a reliable communication source. Captain Alleman says even if 1 or 2 towers go down, in theory, the mayors will still be able to communicate.

"Each site has a back-up generator," said Capt. Alleman. "It's a a multiple site system throughout Acadiana."

The state also has mobile towers in the event one is knocked down by hurricane forced winds and can have locations up and running immediately. The radios were made possible by a grant from devon industries.

Published The Daily Advertiser
August 28, 2008