Barking dogs keep interrupting first responder radio traffic in North Carolina county

Posted at 10:14 AM, Oct 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-29 10:14:43-04

DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) - Davidson County 911 officials are working to find the source of interference on first responder radios.

“It is an issue, and it needs to be resolved,”  Chief Nick Sledge of the North Lexington Triangle Fire Department told WGHP. "(We) hear dogs barking in the background, other strange noises and things of that nature.”

911 director Rob Wilson declined to speak with WGHP on camera but gave the following statement:

“We are aware of and working on finding the source of the radio interference on the county VHF fire frequency. While a nuisance, it appears at no time has the interference prohibited communication between the 911 center and field units. We will continue to work towards finding the source until it is located.”

Sledge said his fire crews have heard the barking on and off throughout most of the day for the past month.

“We don’t mind anybody listening. We don’t mind you trying to listen to a scanner, what have you, but try not to impede in our traffic,” Sledge said. “This is life safety stuff, so the message that you’re impeding could be a life or death situation.”

He explained that the county will switch to a digital system sometime in November, which should help the problem. He said that departments could still hear the barking after the switch.

“When we do make that change, that will help some of this, but until we make that full switch over, you’re still going to have both systems basically patched together for a period of time until everyone can make that switch,” Sledge said.

Wilson said that the FCC and the state have been notified.

Sledge urged people buying radio systems to learn to use them properly so they don't interfere.