30 'Telstra Go' mobile repeaters for Kangaroo Island emergency services

NEW GEAR: Telstra's Chris Marks with the CFS's Kayne Davis and Mike Swayne, Uniting Church's Bryan Branson and SES's David Rhodes with the Kangaroo Island bulk water carrier. Photo supplied
NEW GEAR: Telstra's Chris Marks with the CFS's Kayne Davis and Mike Swayne, Uniting Church's Bryan Branson and SES's David Rhodes with the Kangaroo Island bulk water carrier. Photo supplied

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.

Telstra public affairs manager Chris Marks and Bryan Branson from the Kangaroo Island Uniting Church handed over the "TGo" devices at a ceremony in Parndana. Photo supplied

Telstra public affairs manager Chris Marks and Bryan Branson from the Kangaroo Island Uniting Church handed over the "TGo" devices at a ceremony in Parndana. Photo supplied

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.

Telstra public affairs manager Chris Marks chats to the Kangaroo Island emegerncy services personnel.

Telstra public affairs manager Chris Marks chats to the Kangaroo Island emegerncy services personnel.

"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."