New communications tower helping Jasper Co. first responders stay connected

Published: Sep. 28, 2023 at 5:44 PM EDT
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HARDEEVILLE, Sc. (WTOC) - A new communications tower off of Highway 17 is helping Jasper County first responders who had constant connection trouble in the area. In less than a month, it has been used around 12,000 times.

After a four-year development process, this new communications tower is helping Hardeeville emergency responders who say that for years, they would lose connection in the area south of the city.

“Biggest thing is, we had a lot of areas down here we couldn’t communicate in, at all,” said Hardeeville Fire Chief Steve Camp.

The new tower, which is used by all emergency services in the county, adds over 10 miles of communication range in the area near the South Carolina-Georgia Border. Although a ribbon cutting ceremony was held last week, the tower has been in use for over a month, proving itself during Hurricane Idalia.

“So just in the nick of time, this tower was built prior to hurricane Idalia hitting the area, and that was a very big help, we had thousands of radio hits on this tower during that couple of day span,” said Jodie McMahon, Capital Improvements Project Manager.

Although the tower took four years for planning and construction, Chief Camp has been pushing for its creation since 2004.

“I originally worked in Savannah, so we had good radio coverage. And when I started working over here, there was no coverage on this end. You were lucky if you could talk to anyone down here. It was really bad, and this has made a huge difference,” said Chief Camp.

Hardeeville officials say that the tower will soon also help the public’s connection as cellphone carriers are looking to use the tower as well