As a ‘special remote’ location, there are quite a few differences between Enngonia police station and its city cousins. For a start, there’s no Sergeant and the boys run the station themselves. Also, they have their own diesel pump, often wear Police overalls (I call them romper suits) and write up their own rosters. They drive troopies rather than an “icecream truck”, sedan or Johnny Cab (Think Total Recall) and generally, do pro-active rather than reactive policing. When things like printers and modems break down they fix them themselves because help is just too far away.
Another difference is that while most police stations are connected via the Police Force’s internal communication system (Eaglenet), outback police have had to use normal Telstra landlines to ring other police stations or sections within the Police Force. That is, until now.
Yesterday we had an IT techie from Sydney and a private telephone contractor from Wollongong (Yes Wollongong) arrive to replace our existing white bat phones (Commander system phones with lots of features that no one really knows how to use) with bright shiny new black phones that would allow us, for the first time, to use Eaglenet.
Clearly they had no idea what “scheduled for demolition” actually meant. In fact, since receiving warning of the impending demise of our residence, we’ve now had two tradies come out to service our air conditioners and two more to install the new bat phones. Not a great use of taxpayer’s money, Mr Baird but definitely fodder for bloggers.
Actually…. And I speak with very little experience since they were only installed yesterday – I much prefer the old Commander system to these new phones. On the Commander system, all 3 phones (police station plus both residences) could talk to each other and all three phones could also be answered if there was an outside call.
But I could tell whether it was Nigel ringing from the station phone or a member of the public needing to speak to the police by the two distinct ring tones. I must admit that it was Anne who pointed this out after a few days here – which is rather embarrassing when, in two and a half years at Ivanhoe and using the same Commander system, neither of us ever noticed the difference!
But now with these new phones, there’s no distinguishable difference between the rings so I’m hesitant to answer in case it’s a call for urgent assistance. At this stage, no one knows how to transfer the call to the police station and all of our questions have thus far been met with “it’s in the online manual”. Hopefully all will be revealed.
Still the serendipity did not go unnoticed when our friendly techies were kind enough to repair our external phone box (damaged by a cantankerous box trailer) for free. For good or bad, we are now re-connected to the rest of the world.