Telecommunications for Kangaroo Island emergency service personnel should improve thanks a generous donation from the Uniting Church KI Bushfire Fund.
The Uniting Church, as part of its bushfire fund, arranged for the purchase and donation of 25 'Telstra Go' mobile repeaters for provision to local emergency services.
Telstra hopped on board and supported the effort by donating another five units.
All 30 of the units were handed over at a ceremony at Parndana on Saturday, Jan. 15.
This was also the farewell event for disaster relief chaplain, Mark Dickens, a position funded by Uniting Church in Australia for the past 12 months.
Also attending was Telstra public affairs manager, Chris Marks.
He explained the "TGo" devices are mobile phone boosters that plug into a 12-volt supply, improving mobile coverage on the Telstra network in places where coverage is weak or patchy.
While the SES and CFS had their own communications systems, in cases of emergency, it's always good to have more than one way of communicating, he said.
Besides offering a backup, volunteers say it's good to be able to use a mobile network when they might want to avoid using a public channel, for instance to discuss a sensitive incident-related topic.
"This donation by the Uniting Church to support emergency services on Kangaroo Island is a great initiative," Mr Marks said.
"Telstra is pleased to donate another five Telstra Go units, making a total of 30 devices that will soon be in operation.
"This donation will help keep people connected and improve safety in times of emergency, and will definitely provide benefits for local Kangaroo Islanders.
"Telstra knows the importance of mobile connectivity in regional areas, especially in times of emergency.
"While Telstra has more base stations on KI than any other carrier, we know there are many places where handheld coverage is patchy or non-existent due to distance or difficult terrain.
"These devices will boost mobile coverage in many places and help provide an extra level of connectivity for these CFS and SES volunteers."
More details about the devices can be found here: https://www.telstra.com.au/coverage-networks/network-coverage-extension-devices#choosing-device