WIMMERA emergency services are being equipped with
new pagers under a $40-million statewide program.
The Country Fire Authority, State Emergency Service and Ambulance Victoria are rolling out the Alpha Legend pagers after a trial last year.
The Arapiles Rescue Group, as part of Horsham SES, will also use the pagers.
The new pagers, rolled out after a review following the Black Saturday bushfires, will replace the Infostream X3 pagers that are no longer being manufactured.
CFA District 17 operations officer Peter Bell said all the district's volunteers would have the pagers by the end of September.
"The old pagers have basically come to the end of their life so the CFA has decided to upgrade them," he said.
"We can't even get parts for the old pagers any more.
"The CFA has done extensive testing and has come up with the ones we have now."
Mr Bell said all volunteers had been briefed on how to use the pagers.
"It takes a little bit more to understand the new pagers but the volunteers are given training when we exchange the pagers," he said.
"It is just about understanding the new pagers and the tones that can be set with them."
The SES began distributing its new pagers across the region about two months ago.
Horsham deputy controller and communications officer Nola Smith said the emergency services had to 'move with the times'.
"They are quite a bit different from the old ones but we are all getting the hang of it now because, like with everything, it takes time," she said.
"Basically we are all on this paging system now so that all the emergency services are the same.
"It has worked well for us so far."
She said the region's volunteers were good at keeping their pagers near them to respond to emergencies.