Telstra will build and maintain new communications infrastructure for the Country Fire Authority (CFA) in Victoria and digital radio emergency services in regional areas of the state.
The major upgrade to the state's communications systems is part of the $42.9 million Regional Radio Dispatch Service project, with Motorola Solutions providing support to Telstra.
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The 18-month project will include nearly 500 CFA brigades and will allow them to directly communicate with dispatch operators.
Currently, CFA staff in rural areas communicate through a local group communications officer who passes on information about incidents and the location of crew.
The project is part of CFA's switch to digitally-enabled Tait radios on the analogue network.
"Members will also benefit from clearer radio dispatch coverage, which is currently available to Victoria Police, MFB, Ambulance Victoria and our brigades in metropolitan Melbourne," Euan Ferguson, CFA chief officer, said in a statement.
"It will also reduce the need for group communications officers to support day-to-day dispatch communications activities. This role, however, will remain essential for incident management communications and these members will continue to maintain their skills through regular training and exercises."
The rollout will begin in November.
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