LORAIN COUNTY, Ohio (WJW) – The FOX 8 I-Team is tracking the fallout from a fight over a new radio system for first responders in Lorain County.

The radios can be critical to rescue crews getting help to you when you need it most.

Monday, Lorain County took steps to back out of a deal for a new radio system for police, firefighters, and paramedics.

The County had been moving forward with a company to install a new, updated radio system allowing officers, firefighters, and EMS crews to talk to each other and hear at emergencies everywhere.

But commissioners voted to scrap a contract for the new system raising concerns about how a company had been selected.

First responders spoke out during the meeting. They say starting over will lead to endless delays in getting a new system, and there should be no question about the process leading up to now.

Avon Lake Fire Chief Jeremy Betsa said, “We don’t use opinions. We use facts, and that’s what we should be using to make our decisions.”

Emergency crews say the current radio system can be unreliable and dangerous.

On one call for wires on a school bus in Lorain, many of the radio transmissions were garbled and unintelligible.
Now, the process of hiring a company for a new radio system starts all over.

Meantime, the County has already been warned it will face a lawsuit for backing out of the contract that had been approved.