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New Heights: IT Tower Work Prevents Radio Silence

If you look up, you can see Jason Haynes and Doug Reynolds. It’s not a typical work setting, but for the Buncombe County IT Radio Team, scaling a 300 foot tower is just another day at the office. Overall, there are 17 towers and more than 4,000 radios that make up the Public Safety Radio Communications system. That system is the primary means of communication between Emergency Operations Center (EOC), the Sheriff’s Office, fire departments, and EMS staff. “We manage point-to-point wireless networking devices to extend the network to additional County buildings and provide redundant network paths to other County buildings. Redundant access keeps County departments functioning in the event of primary network outage,” explains Jason.

Many of the radio sites are strategically located on remote mountain tops, which can mean long drives and high climbs for the Radio Team. During those climbs, Jason and Doug are performing repairs, replacing equipment, and inspecting the actual tower to ensure that everything keeps running smooth. “Equipment failures at tower sites create areas where there is no coverage from the radio system, causing communication failures to public safety personnel,” notes Jason.

At the end of the day, it’s a unique way to keep vital County services running. “I enjoy the fact that my job duties do not confine me to my office,” notes Doug. “Also, from the tops of the towers I get to see some very pleasant views and take nice pictures.”

Buncombe County thanks Jason and Doug for their work keeping communications between EOC, law enforcement, EMS, and other vital services running.

On Belay: Jason Haynes climbs (using proper safety protocol) a tower to ensure everything is working properly.