Howard County Could See New Emergency Communication Tower - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: |

Howard County Could See New Emergency Communication Tower


By Devin Sanchez
NewsWest 9

HOWARD COUNTY - Howard County's emergency radio tower collapsed in November's ice storm and now there's a communication issue. At a special meeting on Monday, plans were discussed to replace the tower.

"I'm optimistic that we got to move forward and get a tower up," Howard County Volunteer Fire Chief, Tommy Sullivan, said.

Sullivan said the county has a temporary tower but it is just a quick fix.

"We have only about 80% coverage in the county and some of that is real sporadic," he said.

Sunday night's fire out on North County Road 35 showed this to be true.

"Even with our temporary tower, some of them didn't get the page out, in the dead areas," he said.

Up until Friday, the county shared a frequency with the city. Sullivan said with Big Spring Fire Department received so many calls, it caused issues for his crew.

"My firefighters were turning their radios off because they have small children, wives and tones were going off every 30-45 minutes," he explained.

It was estimated the new tower would cost near $120,000. Sullivan said they would know more in a few days.

"Everyone will be back in the office on January 2nd, then we'll get final numbers and we can look at everything," he said.

His greatest concern is the grassfire season, which is rapidly approaching.

"Our timeline crunch is how are we going to do this and get communication up for the winter wildfire season. So we have to move fast on it, it is an emergency situation," Sullivan said.

Sullivan also asked residents to be patient and be proactive with fire safety.