With fires threatening the iconic town of Cooktown, concerned residents turned to their new radio service Black Star for regular updates from Queensland emergency services. Residents were able to receive immediate and accurate information on the extent of the fires, specific warning and advice re evacuation.
The fires, which started around midday on Wednesday lead to the evacuation of 25 houses in an area about 14 kilometres west of Cooktown. Fire services said the hot dry conditions in the Cape region meant fires are particularly fast-moving, unpredictable and difficult to control.
This emergency service role is an extension of Black Star’s service obligation. Keeping the community updated on any kind of natural or human danger or disaster is essential in these remote areas, especially that the information is both accurate and timely. QRAM believes that people living in these remote parts of the country deserve radio services of the same quality as people in our cities.
26 communities and towns in Cape York, the Gulf of Carpentaria and Western Queensland now have a Black Star service, as QRAM gradually fills in the black spots across these huge regions.
Emergency services relayed up to the minute progress of the fire event to Black Star personnel at the hub in Cairns. Messages are then immediately sent through the WAN network to the Cooktown Black Star radio services for continual transmission and update of events.
With cyclone season rapidly approaching, Black Star will play a vital role for residents in the communities across the Cape and Gulf country.
To make sure you are prepared for fire season, visit http://www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au