PARIS — The radio console at the Oxford County Regional Communications Center may be on its last leg, and the County Commission has sent out a request for proposals to buy a replacement.

James Miclon, director of the center, said the console is working fine now and was recently updated, but he’s had several problems this year.

Miclon said the manufacturer, Orbicom, has left the radio console business and the console is still supported by the company, but just barely. The parts are hard to find, he said, and they have only one service technician based in New England.

The console is used to notify emergency personnel of incidents. “They’re how we decide which channel to talk to somebody on,” Miclon said.

“The console is a very primary component here at the communications center. For it to be down for any period of time is not acceptable,” Miclon said Wednesday. “To wait two weeks to get a part is just not something we can do.”

Miclon said he first brought up the need for a replacement back in September as the console began aging, but it wasn’t until the Orbicom console began having problems this year that the need became more urgent.

“It’s become more of an emergency,” Miclon said. “We lost one major part of the component a couple of weeks ago and that was $1,200.”

He said repairs have already cost the county almost $2,000 this year, and there’s a waiting time before the technician can arrive. “The availability of support either by a physical technician or by the company is very slim,” Miclon said.

Miclon said there are three vendors making consoles that could replace the one at the communications center. All of them have multiple technicians in Maine. He said preliminary numbers put the cost of a new console at more than $200,000.

He said he’s spoken to one vendor, Zetron Products, which also offered a trade-in on their existing console. He’s waiting to hear from two other vendors.

The proposals are due on Feb. 28.

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