The launch of the Alberta First Responders Radio Communications System (AFRRCS) was July 1, it's a new tool that enables first responders to communicate effectively.

AFRRCS is a province wide radio communication system that connects first responders throughout the province. As of right now, police, emergency medical and fire services use their own separate radio systems that generally do not communicate with one another.

The system aims to connect these first responders so they can communicate with each other wherever they are.

Kathleen Ganley, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General, says the aim is to make emergency response more efficient.

“This important project will help protect the lives of Albertans, from families to first responders," she says. "This province wide radio system will ensure that the people who keep us safe every day have the communication network they need to respond as quickly and as co-ordinated as possible.”

Alberta Health Services has used the AFRRCS system during a pilot project. Marty Scott, Executive Director, EMS Provincial Programs, Alberta Health Services says it's a valuable system for EMS.

“The new system improves our ability to respond to patients and enhances staff safety," he explains. "With all crews on one radio system, we can better co-ordinate emergency response when Albertans call for help and can provide immediate support to our crews no matter where they are located across the province.”

The AFRRCS was also used during the Fort McMurray Fires and proved to be a crucial tool as the system allowed first responders to communicate efficiently with 32 different fire departments.

Rocky View County is currently in discussions about AFRRCS, to see if the system will be implemented here. Veronica Jubinville,Press Secretary, Justice and Solicitor General, shares it is still a long road to getting AFRRCS in all municipalities.

"A lot of this is really dependant on municipalities, and if they're interested in using them," she says. "All municipalities have a radio system in place right now, whether they have the budget for AFRRCS or not would be up to them."

To learn more about AFRRCS click here.