SYDNEY, Aug 1 (Xinhua) -- The Australian State of New South Wales (NSW) announced an investment of millions of dollars on Wednesday to upgrade its radio technology to combat emergencies and natural disasters.
The 53.5 million Australian dollar (40 million U.S. dollar) announcement will deliver more than 5000 "high tech" radios to the State Emergency Service (SES) as part of a five year deal.
"In a state the size of NSW, technology can reduce the tyranny of distance and as better technology becomes available, we want to make sure our volunteers stay connected when it counts," NSW minister for emergency services Troy Grant said.
"Our NSW SES are on hand to help out when Mother Nature strikes or an incident occurs and the NSW Government is ensuring volunteers have the best tools available to undertake their work."
With major radio black spots covering many remote areas in the southwest and far west of the state, the new digital high-frequency radio technology will allow emergency responders to maintain connectivity during potentially life-threatening events.
"Good communications are essential so our volunteers can undertake their role of responding to flood, storm and other emergency jobs, quickly and efficiently," NSW SES commissioner, Mark Smethurst explained.
"More than 9,000 volunteers are being trained to use the new radios, which are lighter and more robust and have an emergency duress capability, GPS location, and longer battery life."