COUNTY COMMISSIONERS AND BVWACS

Washington County Judge John Brieden says there are a lot of emergencies at the border of Washington and Burleson Counties and often emergency crews, law enforcement and fire departments cannot communicate.

That’s an issue the Washington County Commissioners hope to fix, at least partially when they meet tomorrow (Tuesday).

Judge Brieden says that while Washington County joined the Brazos Valley Wide Area Communications System several years ago, Burleson County did not.

BVWACS connects numerous law enforcement, fire departments, and EMS in the Brazos Valley with digital emergency radio communications. The program was expensive and many counties, including Burleson did not join.

Brieden says that means fires, auto collisions, emergencies at Lake Somerville and wildfires have occurred at the border of the two counties but Washington County crews cannot communicate with Burleson County.

Brieden says the County Commissioners  will include the Burleson County dispatch and a few key emergency officials in an interlocal agreement between the two counties.

Brieden says Burleson County will not be a full member of BVWACS.  He notes that the cost of the radios and the associated equipment is very expensive.  He said however, in recent years the system has been very helpful in responding to such emergencies as Hurricane Ike and the Tri-County wildfires in 2011.

The Washington County Commissioners meet Tuesday morning at nine at the courthouse.