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Portland Tests New Emergency Communications System

OPB | May 22, 2013 1:35 p.m. | Updated: May 29, 2013 11:59 a.m. | Portland

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The city of Portland started a three-day regional exercise on May 22 to test a new emergency communications system.

All locations have a steel box supplied with First-Aid Kits and a UHF radio.

All locations have a steel box supplied with First-Aid Kits and a UHF radio.

Sergio Cisneros / OPB

It’s called the Basic Earthquake Emergency Communication Node system.  It has 48 locations throughout the city.

The public can use these sites in the event that telecommunication systems fail. Each site has a steel box filled with medical supplies and an ultra high frequency radio.

Jane Emrick (left) and Elizabeth Drummond (right) are Portland Neighborhood Emergency Team volunteers.

Jane Emrick (left) and Elizabeth Drummond (right) are Portland Neighborhood Emergency Team volunteers.

Sergio Cisneros / OPB

Carmen Merlo, Director of the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management explained, “If I couldn’t pick up the phone and call 911, this is the location where I could go to relay important life safety or damage information.”

The locations were picked to ensure full geographic coverage of the city.

The new system of communication is now operating.

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