KEARNEY, NE — This is a milestone moment for public safety.

“Go ahead 90912.”

“Buffalo County, this is the first radio transmission on the Buffalo County, City of Kearney trunked public radio system. The system is 10-8.”

“10-4, 90912. 10:27.”

Motorola’s first virtualized prime site for a public safety radio system is now operational, and it’s built to serve Kearney and Buffalo County.

“It’s going from a radio system that’s just, push the button and hope it works, to a radio system that’s gonna tell you it’s actually communicating and whoever you’re talking to got your message,” Buffalo County Sheriff Neil Miller said.

Not only is the technology top-of-the-line, Miller says the cooperation between city, county and state agencies is also uncommonly strong. All parties chipped in on the nearly $5 million project, and they all see the benefits.

“My deputies get the coverage that the city officers get, the city officers can get out in the county and get the coverage that my deputies get," Miller said. "In fact, all of us are able to travel the whole state of Nebraska and get statewide coverage because we’re connected with the statewide system.”

Kearney Fire Administrator Jason Whalen calls the radio system a lifeline for firefighters. He says quality communication can be the difference between a safe operation and a line-of-duty death.

“I believe this radio system goes a very long ways to ensure that the men and women that serve our county will go home safely after each and every response,” Whalen said.

Miller says the county has gradually improved its infrastructure over the past 20 years in order to keep costs down when it was time to upgrade the radios. He expects the new system to be the standard for a while.

“It refreshes our hardware and the software for the system on a regular basis," Miller said. "This is here for the now and it’s here for the future.”