Contributed by Star Telephone and Kristy D. Carter, Sampson Independent
The Roseboro EMS will now have Wifi capabilities throughout the building as part of a Smart Rural CommunitySM Collaboration Challenge grant awarded to Star Communications.
Star Communications is one of four companies across the United States awarded the grant as part of the Rural Broadband Association’s initiative to highlight efforts that make rural communities vibrant places to live and do business. The company received the same grant last year and awarded funds to Tom Thumb Academy in Salemburg to purchase new iPads for the students.
“Being a volunteer rescue squad, with limited funding, has made it difficult to stay current with modern technology,” Star Communications general manager Jeff Nethercutt, said. “Roseboro Rescue has internet service, but has limited Wifi. Giving Roseboro Rescue the ability to have Wifi services throughout the building would enable members to use the internet across the facility and provided quicker communications to better serve the public.”
NTCA, the Rural Broadband Association, made the announcement at the annual Rural Telecom Industry Meeting and Expo in New Orleans.
According to Roseboro EMS chief Adam Pearsall, Roseboro Rescue and EMS was founded in September 1973 with 33 charter members and operated out of the Roseboro Fire Department. In 1984, a new station was built on East Howard Street. Today, the department is staffed by nearly 40 volunteers, with nine emergency response vehicles. The department is manned during the day with paid staff from the county.
“Having Wifi capabilities throughout the entire EMS building will assist our responders with completing the necessary training and reports,” Pearsall said. “This will also allow us to be used during natural disasters as a true command center.”
Roseboro Rescue and EMS serves the communities of Roseboro, Salemburg, and Autryville in the western portion of Sampson County and is the busiest department in the county, responding to more than 700 calls in 2018.
“It’s an exciting time in communications and technology, and Star Communications has an unwavering commitment to keep researching and pushing the technological boundaries to ensure that our rural areas have access to what is provided to our urban counterparts,” Nethercutt said.
Star Communications, the area’s leading communications company headquartered in Clinton, was started in 1959 as Star Telephone Membership Corporation. It provides voice, video, Internet, wireless, security, automation, and surveillance services across southeastern North Carolina.
The goal of the NTCA Smart Rural Community initiative is to foster the development of smart communities throughout rural America and Canada by encouraging innovative implementation of broadband solutions and access to next-generation applications for distance learning, telehealth services, public safety and security. Smart Rural Community provides educational programming, matching grant resources and an award program to recognize top-performing communities.
The Collaboration Challenge grants promote development of broadband-enabled solutions for communities and support collaborative efforts in economic development, education, energy, health care and public safety.
Photo and article written by Kristy D. Carter, Sampson Independent