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Lowestoft: Unique radio makes waves

PUBLISHED: 09:01 11 November 2009 | UPDATED: 15:10 06 July 2010

FIREFIGHTERS in England and Wales have been trialling a Lowestoft company's unique radio product.

Fern Communications, which is based on the Pinbush industrial estate in Lowestoft, has been testing its FRX-1 radio repeater with the South Wales and the Bedfordshire and Luton fire and rescue services with the hope of improving the safety of firefighters working in dangerous or confined spaces.

FIREFIGHTERS in England and Wales have been trialling a Lowestoft company's unique radio product.

Fern Communications, which is based on the Pinbush industrial estate in Lowestoft, has been testing its FRX-1 radio repeater with the South Wales and the Bedfordshire and Luton fire and rescue services with the hope of improving the safety of firefighters working in dangerous or confined spaces.

The repeater was tested in a railway tunnel in Bedfordshire. By directing the radio signal around solid structures to avoid black spots, radio signal was maintained up a distance of 1,100m.

A second test was carried out in an underground air raid shelter made of reinforced concrete. Using the FRX-1, crew manager John Cox was able to make five 90-degree turns and travel nearly 80m away from another radio before losing contact.

Mr Cox said: “The air raid shelter trial demonstrated that the FRX-1 not only has the ability to extend the reach of a signal but that it can “bend” the signal around the labyrinth of twists and turns you are faced with during a rescue, so you can communicate through solid structures.

“Our ability to communicate with each other, regardless of the environment, means we can save more lives and be that much safer in the process.”

The South Wales service also recently conducted a four-week trial, during which the radio repeater was used with radio headsets in underground corridors in Cardiff bay.


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